Giving Time Beats Obesity -UK Study
1 September 2004 at 1:09 pm
New research by Community Service Volunteers (CSV), one of the UK’s largest volunteer organisations, reveals that volunteering fights obesity and improves health and fitness, particularly amongst young people.
The research, carried out as part of Make a Difference Day (October 30th) and Barclays Community Investment Program comes in the wake of concerns over growing waistlines.
Initial findings from the survey involving more than 600 volunteers throughout the UK show that volunteering improves fitness levels and reduces weight. The research also highlights trends in smoking, drinking and sex in relation to volunteering.
– Nearly half of all volunteers (47%) say volunteering has improved their physical health and fitness.
– 25% of people who volunteer more than five times a year say volunteering has helped them lose weight (20% overall).
– 60% of 18-24 year olds say volunteering has improved their fitness and nearly a third (32%) say volunteering has helped them lose weight.
– 22% of 18-24 year olds say volunteering helps them cut down on alcohol.
– 20% of people who have volunteered for over two years and 19% of those who volunteer once a month or more, say volunteering helps them drink less alcohol.
– Nearly a third (30%) of 18-24 year old smokers say volunteering helps them smoke less. 21% of smokers who have volunteered for over two years say that volunteering helps them smoke less.
– 9 % of men and 8% of women said that volunteering has improved their sex life! This compares with 17% of volunteers aged 18-24 years old.
– 15% of all volunteers say volunteering had led them to eat less chocolate!
The survey launched the CSV Make a Difference Day 2004 campaign, now the UK’s biggest day of ‘hands-on’ volunteering.
The initial findings precede the full report, which will be available later this year. Later findings will show the impact of volunteering on mental health, including depression and stress levels.
CSV’s findings come in the wake of the Select Committee on Health Third Report which shows that two-thirds of the population of England are overweight or obese.
CSV Make a Difference Day takes place on Saturday 30 October 2004, when nearly 100,000 people are expected to give time rather than money to improve their local community.
If you would like an electronic copy of the report details and methodology in Word format just send us an email with the words CSV Giving Time Report in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.