Lifestyle & Belief

Volunteering can help your heart in more ways than one


A new study shows that doing volunteer work boosts your health from lower cholesterol to better mental health.


Sean Gallup

A new study shows that volunteer work is not only good for your theoretical heart but your real one too.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that those who volunteer have better cardiovascular systems than those who don't.

They found that after 10 weeks of participating in volunteer community programs, participants had significantly improved their heart health, said the Daily Mail.

The study looked at 106 inner-city kids from Vancouver.

Students were analyzed for inflammation, body mass index, mental health, cholesterol levels and mood.

They were then split into one group that volunteered in the community and one that didn't.

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After 10 weeks, the group that volunteered did better on all factors than the group that did not volunteer, said MedPage Today.

“It was encouraging to see how a social intervention to support members of the community also improved the health of adolescents,” said lead author Hannah Schreier, a doctoral student at UBC, reported the Deccan Herald.

“The volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, altruistic behavior and mental health were the ones who also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health."

The findings were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.