Self-reported attendance at religious services is linked with longevity.
Ohio State University scientists have examined two samples of more than 1600 obituaries looking for religion, marital status and social activities. They found religious people lived an average of 5.64 years longer than nonbelievers. When controlled for gender and marital status the advantage was 3.82 years. Religious values, prayer and mediation, and volunteerism may all help contribute to this advantage.
PositiveTip: Involvement in religious groups may extend your life!
Volunteering in schools improves seniors' health, especially those with poorer health.
Seniors who volunteered in elementary schools teaching children to read for 15 hours a week for 9 months, were found to have better physical condition than before volunteering. Those in fair health prior to volunteering improved the greatest, with improved strength and energy, walking speed and stair-climbing.
PositiveTip: Volunteering to help others improves both mental and physical vitality of seniors.
Volunteering decreases risk for cognitive impairment in elders!
A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University demonstrated amazing short-term results in 17 women, age 65 or older who were at high risk for cognitive impairment. Eight of the ladies volunteered with Experience Corps to help children for 15 hours per week in urban public schools in Baltimore. Each participant had a MRI brain scan at the start and 6 months later. Significant cognitive improvements were seen in the women who volunteered compared to the non-volunteering control group.
PositiveTip: Remove the cobwebs from your brain by volunteering to help others--it may even help you grow new brain cells!