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Want to live a long and happy life? Volunteer!

Evidence   |   March 2nd, 2021

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There’s a wealth of research that tells us that volunteering is good for us.


Researcher Marta Zaraska has compiled this useful research into a new book about living your best long life. She concludes that the secret to a long and happy life is not buying a fitness tracker - but volunteering for a cause that gives you a sense of purpose. 


Martha says, science shows that drivers such as friendships, purpose in life, empathy and kindness are health drivers more powerful than a healthy diet and exercise.


She’s crunched the numbers and tells us that science shows that building connections with others lowers mortality risk by about 45 per cent. Exercise, on the other hand, can lower that risk by 23 to 33 per cent. Eating six servings of fruit and veg per day can cut the danger of dying early by 26 per cent, while following the Mediterranean diet by 21 per cent.


For volunteering, it's 22 to 44 per cent. So, keep eating those veges but also develop relationships with others and volunteer - it’s scientifically proven to be good for you!


To volunteer to become an Upside mentor, check out our mentor page



Growing Young. How friendship, optimism and kindness can help you live to 100. Martha Zaraska.