x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Getting from giving

Volunteering has always been thought to feel good. Now research shows it makes you likely to live longer too.

We have long been told that volunteering is good for the soul. Now new research has found that volunteering is also good for the health and can help us live longer.

The study, by scientists at the University of Exter in the UK, which has been published in the journal BMC Public Health, reveals that reaching out to the community reduces the risk of dying by more than 20 per cent in the seven years after volunteering - a form of security insurance as a reward for your hard work.

The researchers say further study is required to understand the apparent link between volunteering and health, but the very fact that community work involves physical activity and helps us combat stress and depression is enough to understand that there is at least some truth in the inference that there is in fact value for volunteering.

The findings are particularly good news for Emiratis, who consider charity as an integral part of their tradition, whereby members of the community come together to organise feasts or even build homes.

But those who haven't yet thought about it, it's about time to get out and pitch in because what you give is what you get.