Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We feel good when we do a good deed, so there must be a psychological benefit to helping others? But how can we know for sure? The best way to study the health benefits of kind deeds is to look at studies of volunteering.

In 2011, Daniel George conducted a randomised trial with 30 adults in Ohio with mild to moderate dementia. Half the adults spent an hour every two weeks helping young school children with reading, writing and history. The other half (the control group) were assigned to not do any voluntary work. At the end of the five-month study, stress was lowered more in the adults who helped than in the adults who didn’t.

Read the full article on The Conversation website, written by Jeremy Howick, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences.

Oxford is a subscribing member of The Conversation. Find out how you can write for The Conversation.

Similar stories

Young lives under pressure as global crises hits mental health and well-being – report

The well-being and mental health of young people in low - and middle - income countries have been dramatically affected by the series of crises hitting the world. As the international community continues to struggle with the impact of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, the latest report from the Young Lives project shows a long-running upward trend in young people’s well-being has been sharply reversed alongside widespread anxiety and depression. Young people are less confident about their futures for the first time in the 20-year study.

Bacterial infections linked to one in eight global deaths, according to GRAM study

Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings

New tool aims to make bowel cancer treatments more effective

The Leedham Lab in Nuffield Department of Medicine (NDM) has been awarded over £2M from Cancer Research UK to develop a new tool that could help guide how bowel cancer patients are treated in the future.

Doug Higgs awarded the 2023 Genetics Society Medal

The award recognises Radcliffe Department of Medicine's Professor Higgs major contribution to our understanding of how mammalian genes are switched on and off, and using haematopoiesis as a model to understand how genes function.

First evidence drug resistant bacteria can travel from gut to lung, increasing infection risks

A new Oxford University study released during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week has significant findings on how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) arises and persists. The results, published today in Nature Communications, provide the first direct evidence of AMR bacteria migrating from a patient’s gut microbiome to the lungs, increasing the risk of deadly infections.