Dr. Eric S. Kim, Research Scientist in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Research Affiliate at the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, and others have recently co-authored “Volunteering and Subsequent Health and Well-Being in Older Adults: An Outcome-Wide Longitudinal Approach” in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The study has been featured in the Daily Mail, Elsevier, U.S. News & World Report as well as HSPH News.
In the article, Dr. Kim and others argue that physicians may want to encourage their patients, particularly older adults, to engage in volunteering as a way to promote the patients’ health as well as contributing to society’s welfare. They found that volunteering at least 100 hours a year (almost 2 hours per week) was associated with numerous health benefits such as reduced risk of mortality and higher physical activity.
“Humans are social creatures by nature,” says Dr. Kim in the Elsevier press release. “Perhaps this is why our minds and bodies are rewarded when we give to others.”