Source Business Directory
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

Volunteering – Healthy? – New Study


Wednesday, 26th May 2004 at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter
While there are many known benefits of volunteering, a new Australian study has found that donating your time and energy to projects may also be bad for your health!

Wednesday, 26th May 2004
at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Volunteering – Healthy? – New Study
Wednesday, 26th May 2004 at 1:05 pm

While there are many known benefits of volunteering, a new Australian study has found that donating your time and energy to projects may also be bad for your health!

Researchers from Flinders University in South Australia found that people who participate in voluntary associations, groups, clubs, organisations and societies tend to have worse physical health than people who don’t volunteer their time.

The study, by Dr. Anna Ziersch and Fran Baum from the University’s Department of Public Health, reviewed the responses of 530 adults who completed questionnaires on volunteer habits and physical health.

During follow up interviews, people reported that they felt their health had been negatively affected by a number of elements associated with volunteering including witnessing difficult and depressing situations, observing conflict and pushing themselves to do too much.

More than half the respondents said they had volunteered over the past year with sports and recreation groups, hobby groups, community groups and social action groups.

The researchers believe the findings suggest that some volunteers may need to monitor how donating their time impacts on their health. Volunteering may be good for the community as a whole but not necessarily for the individual.

They caution that many people get a lot out of volunteering and these results are not meant to discourage anyone from getting involved whenever possible. Just do it within reasonable limits.

Dr. Ziersch says although the research shows being involved in volunteering is linked with poorer physical health it is not clear which came first, and people in bad health may be less likely to work and therefore have more time for to volunteer.

She says regardless it is the responsibility of the volunteer organisations to monitor the health of their members and to make sure they are adequately supported and trained to handle difficult situations.

She says it is important for groups to manage the workload for their members and for the volunteers to support one another and be realistic about what they can achieve.

The research findings have been published in the prestigious US Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in its June edition.




Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au

Tags : Volunteering,

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Support Services At The Core of Volunteering

Wendy Williams

Friday, 22nd June 2018 at 6:08 pm

Why Rural Australia is Facing a Volunteer Crisis

Contributor

Wednesday, 16th May 2018 at 5:34 pm

Ethics in Volunteer Leadership – Hidden in Plain Sight

Contributor

Tuesday, 15th May 2018 at 8:33 am

Volunteering in Australia’s Social Enterprise Sector

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 3rd April 2018 at 5:44 pm

POPULAR

Australians Are Giving Less

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 14th June 2018 at 8:00 am

The Need for Leadership to Address White Supremacy in the NGO Sector

Luke Michael

Thursday, 14th June 2018 at 8:53 am

Victoria Takes ‘Exciting Step’ to Reduce Red Tape for Charities

Wendy Williams

Friday, 8th June 2018 at 4:17 pm

Full-Time Work No Longer A Reality for Young Australians

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 14th June 2018 at 8:48 am

Source Business Directory
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!