In more ways than you may think!

According to a 2013 United Health survey of more than 3000 U.S. adults “80% of people who volunteered in the past 12 months report feeling a sense of control over their health” (p.5).

“Volunteers say that they feel they have control over their health. Our study showed that volunteers, compared to non-volunteers consider themselves more knowledgeable about their health and chronic conditions. They are more likely to actively seek out information about their health, they discuss their health with their doctor more frequently than do non-volunteers, and will bring up information they have found in their research with their doctor. Volunteers are more engaged health care consumers. Engaged people make better health care decisions. Better health care decisions result in better health. It’s all good” (United Health Group, 2013, p.5).

In this research, I have identified a connection to my 2012 study, which showed that people with a high locus of control are more likely to use websites to research health matters and assess this experience as positive.

People are busy today and sometimes it might feel like modern technology only makes us busier.  But, fortunately, these advances in technology have also made volunteering more accessible in a few ways:

Online Volunteer databases like idealist.org, volunteermatch.org, and onlinevolunteers.org  are updated daily with volunteer positions, online, on ground, or both

Micro volunteering options make it easy to give as little or as much time as you have. Check out websites like Freerice.com, HelpFromHome.org, and GoodSearch.

Options have become more diverse and interesting: search for monsters, ghosts, and aliens, and feel good about doing it!

Besides making the world a better place, you are also building experience and widening your network of contacts.

Start improving your life and your health by volunteering today!

Follow my twitter feed to find out about new online positions everyday: https://twitter.com/volunteeronline

Dr. Natalie Hruska

Reference: Doing Good is Good for  You. 2013 Health and Volunteering Study. United Health Group.  2013. Web. 14  May 2014.