Environmental volunteering and health outcomes over a 20-year period. Academic Article uri icon

Overview

MeSH

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Quality of Life
  • Socioeconomic Factors

MeSH Major

  • Aging
  • Depression
  • Environment
  • Exercise
  • Volunteers

abstract

  • This study tested the hypothesis that volunteering in environmental organizations in midlife is associated with greater physical activity and improved mental and physical health over a 20-year period. The study used data from two waves (1974 and 1994) of the Alameda County Study, a longitudinal study of health and mortality that has followed a cohort of 6,928 adults since 1965. Using logistic and multiple regression models, we examined the prospective association between environmental and other volunteerism and three outcomes (physical activity, self-reported health, and depression), with 1974 volunteerism predicting 1994 outcomes, controlling for a number of relevant covariates. Midlife environmental volunteering was significantly associated with physical activity, self-reported health, and depressive symptoms. This population-based study offers the first epidemiological evidence for a significant positive relationship between environmental volunteering and health and well-being outcomes. Further research, including intervention studies, is needed to confirm and shed additional light on these initial findings.

publication date

  • October 2010

has subject area

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging
  • California
  • Depression
  • Environment
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Quality of Life
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Volunteers

Research

keywords

  • Journal Article

Identity

Language

  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2937248

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geront/gnq007

PubMed ID

  • 20172902

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 594

end page

  • 602

volume

  • 50

number

  • 5