Voluntary retirement

Want to ward off high blood pressure in your golden years? Then you better get to work—in your community, that is.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University studied over 1,100 adults between the ages of 51 and 91 between 2006 and 2010. They assessed for volunteerism, as well as other social and psychological factors, at the beginning and end of the study. They also tracked subjects’ blood pressure.

Results indicated that subjects who clocked at least 200 hours of volunteer work annually were 40 percent less likely to end up with high blood pressure by study’s conclusion. And this protective effect applied regardless of the type of volunteer activity subjects’ chose.

Translation: You could cut your risk of hypertension nearly in half just by putting in a few hours of community service a week.

Benefits like that could put Big Pharma out of the blood pressure business. Clearly, volunteering is good for your heart in more ways than one.


Carnegie Mellon University. “Volunteering reduces risk of hypertension in older adults.” ScienceDaily, 13 Jun. 2013. Web. 26 Aug. 2013