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Following on my previous blogs on “Volunteerism”, such as The Good Life: In Pursuit of Happiness?, Why Love, Trust, Respect and Gratitude Trumps Economics, In Praise of Generosity, Compassion and Kindness: Lessons of London 2012, In Praise of Volunteerism: If you want to change yourself and the world for better, think of volunteerism, and In Praise of Caring, Volunteerism and Service for the Common Good: The Story of Camila Batmanghelidjh, I am now delighted to tell you that, according to medical science and research, indeed, volunteering is truly good for you.

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, USA and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, have documented that:

* Being a volunteer is good for the heart as well as the soul

* Volunteers have healthier cardiovascular systems

* Heart health improves after 10 weeks' volunteering

* The most empathetic see the greatest health benefits

* Older volunteers are less likely to be depressed

* Volunteers have lower levels of inflammation and cholesterol and lower BMIs than non-volunteers

The above study follows a survey last year by the UK charity WRVS which found being an older volunteer is good for your health.

Older people who volunteer to help others are less depressed, have a better quality of life and are happier with their lives as a result.

Those who take part in more volunteering activities, more frequently, boost happiness levels even further, with volunteers gaining improvements in depression levels, quality of life and life satisfaction over the following two years.

Read more:

Volunteering is not only good for your soul, it could also stave off heart disease