Volunteering improves wellbeing in older people

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Volunteering, helping others and attending sports or social clubs are good for the wellbeing of older workers and retirees, according to a study of European data covering a period of two years.

Caring for a disabled adult, including a relative, increases depression among those older workers already experiencing it, the research found, but taking part in political or community groups is associated with a fall in depression. The researchers suggested that HR and OH functions should attempt to reduce physical demands and time pressures on older workers to improve wellbeing over time, and should design intervention programmes and preventive measures that focus on how to stimulate this cohort’s engagement in community and leisure activities.

Potocnik K et al (2013). “A longitudinal study of wellbeing in older workers and retirees: the role of engaging in different types of activities”. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology; vol.86, issue 4, pp.497-521.

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