Adding to a growing body of evidence suggesting that volunteering may benefit mental health and longevity, Suzanne H Richards, from the University of Exeter Medical School (United Kingdom), and colleagues analyzed data from 40 published papers and found that volunteers were at a 20% lower risk of death, as compared to non-volunteers. Further, volunteers had lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction and enhanced well-being. The study authors write that: “Observational evidence suggested that volunteering may benefit mental health and survival.”
Caroline E Jenkinson, Andy P Dickens, Kerry Jones, Jo Thompson-Coon, Rod S Taylor, Suzanne H Richards, et al. “Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers.” BMC Public Health 2013, 13:773; 23 August 2013.
Volunteering may improve your mental health and help you live longer.
Higher debt associates with worse health, among young Americans.
Daily consumption of sea buckthorn berries and its extracts may promote metabolic and heart health, among overweight women.
To optimize stem cell therapies, UK researchers develop gold nanoprobes that help to enable cell identification on a molecular scale.
Among cancer survivors experiencing sleep difficulties, yoga helps to improve sleep quality.
Moderate levels of added sugar reduce survival and compromises fitness and reproduction, in a lab animal model.
People who consume dairy products are at reduced risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
British researchers have developed a comprehensive map of mutational processes behind the development of tumors.
Celery – as well as artichokes and the herb Mexican oregano – contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoid compounds that kill human pancreatic cancer cells.
Depression in patients with type 2 diabetes is a significant risk factor for dementia.
Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, tend to be more stable in people with positive personalities.
Mental conditions, substance abuse, and musculoskeletal disorders cause more disability than cancers.
Enabling city dwellers to reconnect with nature, parks and urban gardens help to relieve mental distress and improve life satisfaction.
Yoga has positive effects on mild depression and sleep complaints, and improves symptoms associated with schizophrenia and ADHD.
Getting a good night of rest promotes feelings of gratitude for relationships.
A type of meditation, known as mindfulness-based stress reduction, helps to relieve the inflammation response seen in arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and
Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammatory disease, may associate with increased risk of psychological distress and depression.
Economists and public health researchers report that happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Daily physical activity can boost a person's mental health, via the psychological mechanisms known as the self-image hypothesis and the social interaction hypot
Large-scale population based study suggests that people with anxiety depression, and other mental health problems have a higher risk of early death.
Tip #192 - Stay Connected
Researchers from the University of Chicago (Illinois, USA) report that social isolation may be detrimental to both mental and physical health. The team analyzed data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a nationwide US study involving 3,000 men and women, ages 57 to 85 years. They arrived at three key findings regarding the relationships between health and different types of isolation:
• The researchers found that the most socially connected older adults are three times as likely to report very good or excellent health compared to those who are least connected, regardless of whether they feel isolated.
• The team found that older adults who feel least isolated are five times as likely to report very good or excellent health as those who feel most isolated, regardless of their actual level of social connectedness.
• They determined that social disconnectedness is not related to mental health unless it brings feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Separately, Rush University Medical Center (Illinois, USA) researchers studied 906 older men and women, testing their motor functions (including grip, pinch strength, balance, and walking) and surveying their social activity, for a period of 5 years. Those study participants with less social activity were found to have a more rapid rate of motor function decline. Specifically, the team found that every one-point decrease in social activity corresponded to an increase in functional aging of 5 years, translating to a 40% higher risk of death and 65% higher risk of disability.