Health Effects of Volunteering for Older Adults

GUELPH, Ontario - March 01, 2013 - University of Guelph In the News - Psychology Prof. Benjamin Gottlieb is scheduled to appear on Global National TV Sunday, March 3. He was interviewed for a series about heart health that is scheduled to air at 6 p.m.

Gottlieb talked about the health benefits experienced by older adults who volunteer.

He received a $375,000 grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research in 2008 to study the health effects of volunteering for seniors. Among other things, researchers looked at how activities associated with volunteering, such as bending, lifting, carrying and walking, and route navigation affect physical and mental well-being.

“I’m interested in the concept of ‘social usefulness’ and intrigued by the possibility that older adults live healthier, happier and longer lives when they feel there are people who need them in ways that no one else can replace,” Gottlieb said about the study.

The research also involved U of G professors Dan Meegan, Psychology; Lawrence Spriet, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences; and Scott Maitland, Family Relations , as well as graduate and undergraduate students.