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Volunteering Promotes Health in Older Adults

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.

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Physical Ability Predicts Increased Mortality in Elders

Grip strength, walking speed and chair rises help determine mortality rates among the elderly.

Researchers from the University of London analyzed 28 studies on how at least one measure of physical capability (grip strength, walking speed, chair rises) connects with increased mortality in the elderly. They found that weaker grip strength, slower walking speed and longer chair rises were all associated with increased mortality. For example, those in the bottom 25% of grip strength had more than 1.5 times times the all-cause mortality compared to those in the top 25%.

PositiveTip: Physical activity today, including strength training, may pay large dividends for years into the future.