Why Being Kind to Others Is Good for Your Health

Science reveals that altruistic behaviors, from formal volunteering and monetary donations to random acts of everyday kindness, promote wellbeing and longevity. Studies show, for instance, that volunteering correlates with a 24 percent lower risk of early death — about the same as eating six or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according to some studies. What’s more, volunteers have a lower risk of high blood glucose, and a lower risk of the inflammation levels connected to heart disease. They also spend 38 percent fewer nights in hospitals than people who shy from involvement in charities. And these health-boosting impacts of volunteering appear to be found in all corners of the world, from Spain and Egypt to Uganda and Jamaica, according to one study based on the data from the Gallup World Poll.

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