Add volunteering to the list of lifestyle activities that can promote health and well-being. A recent large-scale longitudinal study of nearly 13,000 adults compared adults over 50 who consistently volunteered about 2 hours per week with those who did not volunteer. Those in the first group had a substantially lower risk of dying early or developing physical limitations, plus they had higher physical activity levels and a better sense of well-being in later life.

“Regular altruistic activity reduces our risk of death even though our study didn’t show any direct impact on a wide array of chronic conditions,” said Eric S. Kim, PhD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University.

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