Most obviously we somehow know that doing good is good for the recipients or partners in service. Intuitively, we also know that doing good is also good for the ‘actor’ or the ‘doer’. Now a recent TIME report elucidates the real health benefits of  service activities.

“A new review of the health effects of volunteering found that helping others on a regular basis — like serving food in a soup kitchen or reading to the blind— can reduce early mortality rates by 22%, compared to those in people who don’t participate in such activities.

The review which included 40 studies and was published in BMC Public Healthalso revealed that volunteers benefit from reduced rates of depression and an increased sense of life satisfaction and well being — doing good, it seems, made them feel good. “Our systematic review shows that volunteering is associated with improvements in health,” lead author Dr. Suzanne Richards of the University of Exeter Medical School in England said in a statement.

Visiting the sick, feeding the hungry and chairing that committee no one else wants to touch are morally admirable— but being selfless can also be good for both body and soul.”