How to become healthier and earn more? Volunteer and reap the benefitsWhen asked about our wishes, most of us would mention money and health. Believe it or not, volunteering can boost our vitality and improve income. How? Scientists have several explanations.

How volunteering affects our wellbeing

Scientists of Ghent University (Belgium) studied data of more than 40,000 Europeans regarding 3 criteria:

  1. participation in voluntary work
  2. health
  3. employment and income

They found out that volunteers are generally healthier than people who are not involved in charity work.

In fact, volunteers’ health is on par with people who are 5 years younger.

Also, charity activists enjoy a higher income. According to scientists, this may be linked with health indicators — the healthier we are, the more work we can do.

3 additional explanations

The researchers offer 3 more reasons explaining how helping others improves our own lives.

  1. Volunteering boosts our mental health by making us feel better about ourselves. Non-profit work positively affects our social skills and ability to empathize. Both these things positively affect one’s well-being.
  2. Charitable work increases physical and intellectual activity, which prevents us from mental decline usually connected with an advanced age.
  3. Neuroscience research demonstrated that helping others is associated with production of oxytocin and progesterone, hormones that are involved in regulation of stress and inflammation. We reported earlier that caring people live longer.
    How volunteering and better well-being are linked

    Scientists say we feel happier when we give something rather than when we take. Sharing and support improve not only lives of people you’ve assisted, but also your own.

The research

The results of the study are based on data from the sociological survey of Europeans in 2012 and 2013. The survey was conducted to record beliefs, preferences and behavioral characteristics of more than 40 thousand citizens of 29 European countries.


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I respect those people who have wish, ability and time to help other people. Today I watched a video about a woman who visits nursing homes and does pedicure to their inhabitants. This work is far from pleasant, but you have to see how it makes happy those old people, even a small amount of attention and help gives them the strength to live on. Therefore, I wholeheartedly wish her health, and I am happy that the scientists do such kind of researches.


I volunteered a lot for the past years and I liked it! It’s a good way to be in the centre of events. Lots of communication, emotions, new skills, and sometimes free tickets or tours. It’s good to know that volunteering is also good for the health and the career!


People who take part in voluntary work are so inspiring. They give me hope that there is still kindness and unselfishness in our violent world. Maybe I also should become a blood donor or something like this?