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Volunteering good for the heart: Study

Published on Feb 26, 2013 6:08 AM
 
Volunteer work has long been touted as good for the soul, but the practice is also good for your heart, according to a study out Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.  -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

OTTAWA (AFP) - Volunteer work has long been touted as good for the soul, but the practice is also good for your heart, according to a study out Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver wanted to find out how volunteering might impact one's physical condition, and discovered that it improves cardiovascular health, said study author Hannah Schreier.

And "the volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, altruistic behaviour and mental health were the ones who also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health," said Schreier.

Previous studies had shown that psychosocial factors, such as stress, depression and well being, play a role in cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in North America.

 
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