UnitedHealthcare Study Finds Those Who Volunteer Feel Healthier and Happier

A new study by UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch found that employee volunteerism positively affects the health and well-being of the people who participate, and strengthens their connections to their employers.

The report, titled the 2017 Doing Good is Good for You Study, reveals that 75% of United States adults feel physically healthier by volunteering. The mental and emotional benefits of volunteering are even greater, with 93% reporting an improved mood, 79% reporting lower stress levels, and 88% reporting increased self-esteem by giving back. Also, volunteers are significantly more likely to feel that they have greater control over their health and well-being.

“Volunteering can profoundly change the way we think about ourselves and others,” said Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with UnitedHealthcare on this study to help us better understand why doing good is good for all of us.”

The Doing Good is Good for You Study also looked at the role employers play in encouraging volunteerism as part of their efforts to strengthen employees’ connections to the communities where they live and work. Almost three-fourths of employees who volunteer through work report feeling better about their employer, and 91% believe it is important for an employer to allow employees to volunteer on paid time.

“At UnitedHealthcare we have seen many times the connection between health and volunteerism,” said Matt Peterson, head of social responsibility for UnitedHealthcare. “We hope studies like this one will encourage people to get out into the community and discover the many benefits of giving back.”

Findings from this year’s study are based on a national survey of 2,705 adults age 18 and over. The survey was conducted by Kantar TNS, one of the world’s largest marketing research firms. Kantar TNS conducted the online survey between November 29 and December 12, 2016. Data were weighted to ensure a representative sample of the total US adult population.

The Doing Good is Good for You Study is part of UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” initiative, aimed at inspiring a new level of service and volunteerism in communities across the country.

For more information, visit https://newsroom.uhc.com/community/volunteerism-finds.html.