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Volunteer - It's good for the community and good for you

Would you be surprised if your doctor prescribed volunteering at your next visit? You really shouldn't be.

Volunteering as part of your plan for good health is being recommended by physicians across the country. In our local community, volunteers have told us that besides enjoying their volunteering, it was something their doctor recommended they do.

In the past two decades research has shown that volunteering has many health benefits. We can all relate to that good, warm feeling we get inside when we help someone or do something good. That good feeling is just part of a much larger spectrum of the many physical and mental health benefits of volunteering.

A report by the Corporation for National and Community Service, The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research shows that volunteers have "greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression and less incidence of heart disease." Those who volunteer report an increased sense of accomplishment and purpose in their lives.

The studies repeatedly found that volunteering leads to improved physical and mental health. In fact, it only takes about 100 hours per year, or about two hours a week to enjoy the significant health benefits of volunteering. There is also evidence that those who volunteer at an earlier age are less likely to suffer from ill health later in life and live longer, suggesting that volunteering has possible preventative benefits.

If you're not volunteering and would like to, go to United Way Volunteer Connection or RSVP to match your skills and interests with community needs. We would happy to assist you in finding the right opportunity. Just call 715-848-2927 and let us help you get on the road to increased health and happiness.

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