Science Says: The Benefits of Volunteering

We have always been told that volunteering is something that is good to do. But did you know that scientific evidence supports the benefits of volunteering? For years, researchers have been looking at how giving your time to a cause can help positively influence your life. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need through worthwhile causes in the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you.

Research has found that when you volunteer, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical that provides the same feel-good sense you experience after a vigorous workout. Volunteering also reduces stress levels by creating a sense of purpose and well-being. A 2009 Johns Hopkins University study revealed that volunteer activities get you moving and thinking at the same time, which increases your brain activity. Another study released by UnitedHealth Group found that the overwhelming majority of participants reported feeling mentally and physically healthier after a volunteer experience. Here are additional facts about the benefits of volunteering:

Scientific numbers:

76% of people who volunteered in the last twelve months said that volunteering has made them feel healthier.

94% of volunteers said that giving their time to a cause improved their mood.

78% of volunteers said that it lowered their stress levels.

96% reported that volunteering increased their sense of purpose in life.