The Top 5 Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering is all about doing good - and what's more, people who freely donate their time and energy to other enjoy positive physical and mental effects.

Dec 5, 2014
Volunteers putting their hands together.

Giving back to others is also really good for you! [Shutterstock]

When was the last time you volunteered? How did it make you feel? If the answer to the last question was positive, you are right in line with the resounding amount of evidence pointing to the amazing benefits of volunteering. The far reaching benefits of volunteering can positively influence all aspects of you're life, from physical health and even to your next job. Today, we celebrate International Volunteer Day, honoring all of the wonderful individuals who freely donate their time and energies to others. Keep on reading to find out how volunteering can impact your life and the lives of others.

1. VOLUNTEERING MAKES YOU HAPPIER

FACT:2013 study from BMC Health found that volunteering is associated with reduced symptoms of depression and increased life satisfaction and wellbeing.
DOING GOOD: The study's findings are in line with the term helpers’ high, coined by psychologists to describe the happy rush followed by calmness felt after performing an act of kindness.

A happy volunteer wearing a recycle shirt.

That is one happy volunteer! [Shutterstock]

2. VOLUNTEERING IS GOOD FOR YOUR BODY

FACT:Carnegie Mellon study found that 200 hours of volunteering per year correlated to lower blood pressure among the volunteers.
DOING GOOD: Volunteering has the potential to increase physical activity and get people moving and interacting, getting your blood flowing and moving around.

A volunteer supplying runners with cold water at a race.

A volunteer supplying runners with cold water. [Shutterstock]

3. VOLUNTEERING CAN HELP YOU GET A JOB

FACT: A Time Bank UK survey among leading businesses found that 73% would employ someone who has volunteered over someone who hasn't.
DOING GOOD: Volunteering can offer an opportunity to try something new or gain experience in a different field, while also giving back to the community.

Prospective applicants waiting for their turn at a job interview.

The candidate who volunteers is most likely to score the job. [Shutterstock]

4. VOLUNTEERING IS WORTH MONEY

FACT: The estimated value of volunteer time for 2013 is $22.55 per hour.
DOING GOOD: This estimate acknowledges the enormous contribution that volunteers make to charitable organizations, helping them offset costs and while also providing added value to the cause.

An hourglass of with dollar signs.

Time is money when it comes to volunteering. [Shutterstock]

5. VOLUNTEERING AT A YOUNG AGE CREATES MORE GIVING ADULTS

FACT: Adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteer when they were younger.
DOING GOOD: While volunteering is great at any age, exposing youngsters to the importance of helping others will provide them with a strong base of giving that will carry into their adulthood.

Little girl picking up trash by the beach.

By starting young, this little girl is more likely to volunteer as she gets older. [Shutterstock]

Good Deeds Day is a global movement that unites millions of people from 60+ countries. The idea is simple: every single person can do something good to improve the lives of others and positively change the world.

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