Supporting others is good for YOUR health!

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Supporting others is good for YOUR health!

January 10, 2016 - 09:06

We have all heard that spending time watching fish can have health benefits, but did you know that DONATING money to non-profits that help people (and their Koi!) can actually lower your blood pressure?  The first studies suggested that donating time to help others made people healthier, but then it was proved that giving money actually caused a significant reduction in blood pressure!  Before presenting the article, I thought I would mention that K.O.I. is a 501c3 Not-For-Profit group, and that all donations are tax deductible!  Here's the link in order to donate:

http://koiorganisationinternational.org/?q=koi-donations

So here's the double-whammy - take a course from K.O.I. - learn something new which will help your Koi, and then share your knowledge with other Koi keepers - then you get both health benefits for having supported K.O.I., and of helping others!  Read the full article about the research by clicking on the picture or title...

Every day, we’re confronted with the question, “should we be generous?” whenever we’re asked to make donations or give the homeless spare change. Spending money on others can boost feelings of warmth and happiness, but can it also boost our health? According to a study to be published in the journal Health Psychology, spending money on others can improve our physical health by lowering our blood pressure.

In an article for The Conversationalist, Ashley Whillans, author of the study, and her colleagues from the University of British Columbia, noted most research available has focused on the health benefits of volunteering one’s time, not necessarily one’s money. For example, a 2013 study found older adults who volunteered at least four hours per week in the 12 months prior to the baseline blood pressure measurement were less likely to develop high blood pressure for four years. Here, thinking about time led people to prioritize social connections, but can thinking about money lead people to distance themselves from others?

“It remains unclear whether the benefits of generosity extend to donating money. Our latest work provides the first empirical evidence that this decision might also have clinically relevant implications for physical health,” wrote the researchers.

The most recent study was conducted to determine the effect spending money on others has on the heart health of older adults diagnosed with high blood pressure. A total of 128 adults, between the ages 65 to 85, were given $40 a week for three weeks. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to spend the money on themselves, and half were told to spend it on others. The participants had to spend their $40 payment all in one day and were asked to save the receipts from the purchases they made.

Blood pressure was measured before, during, and after the participants spent their payments. The researchers chose to examine blood pressure, because it could be measured reliably in the lab, and it’s a significant health outcome.

The findings revealed participants who were previously diagnosed with high blood pressure and spent money on others experienced a significant reduction in their blood pressure throughout the study. Meanwhile, the participants who were previously diagnosed with high blood pressure and assigned to spend money on themselves did not experience changes in their blood pressure levels. Those who did not have high blood pressure in the study did not benefit from spending money on others.

The researchers compared the effects of spending money on blood pressure to other heart health interventions. “Critically, the magnitude of these effects was comparable to the benefits of interventions such as anti-hypertensive medication and exercise,” wrote the researchers about effect of generosity and high blood pressure.

Previous studies have found that being generous also improves chronic pain, stress, happiness and self esteem.  Donations (and taking courses!) from K.O.I. not only support the hobby, but make you healthier!

Article compiled from IFL Science, Medical Daily and Health.com

 


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