Friday, May 28, 2010

Volunteering and Your Health: How Giving Back Benefits Everyone

A survey released by United Healthcare, a UnitedHealth Group company, and VolunteerMatch identifies some of the key health benefits of volunteering. The UnitedHealthcare/VolunteerMatch Do Good. Live Well. Survey of more than 4,500 American adults found that 68 percent of those who volunteered in the past year report that volunteering has made them feel physically healthier.

  • Volunteers agree that volunteering helps them to lead healthier lives.
  • Volunteering appears to correspond with higher levels of life satisfaction - including a greater sense of meaning and purpose and higher levels of optimism.
  • Employers have an important role to play in encouraging volunteerism among their employees.
  • 25% of those who volunteer do so through their place of work.
Volunteerism in America
  • More than four in every 10 Americans (41%) have volunteered in the last year (e.g.,engaged in unpaid service activities, not including giving money or donation).
  • 69% of Americans have made donations to an organization in the past year.
  • 44% of Americans report that they intended to volunteer in 2010, with many citing "the opportunity to make a difference" as the motivation.
    UnitedHealthcare/VolunteerMatch Do Good. Live Well. Survey Methodology
    In February 2010, UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch sponsored a study among Americans to understand patterns of volunteering in the United States and its relationship to health and well-being. An online survey was administered to a national sample of 4,582 Americans over the age of 18 regarding their health and their propensity to volunteer. The sampling plan was balanced and the data were weighted to reflected the demographic profile of the U.S. adult population.

    The main objectives of the study were to assess current perceptions of Americans' own physical and emotional health, determine attitudes and beliefs about volunteering, determine the effect of volunteering on the volunteer, measure incidence and motivation of volunteerism in the U.S., gauge popularity and impact of workplace volunteer opportunities and highlight the differences between seniors who volunteer and those who do not in terms of health and lifestyle.

    The study was conducted by TNS (Taylor Nelson Sofres) from Feb. 25 to March 8, 2010. TNS is the world's largest custom research agency. TNS provides comprehensive industry knowledge within the customer, technology, finance, automotive and political & social sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. Delivering best-in-class service across more than 75 countries, TNS is part of Kantar, the world's largest research, insight and consultancy network. Please visit for more information - call (530) 668-0609 x106 or visit us on the web at:

    Complete results of the survey can be viewed at

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