A new study released by UCLA suggests that volunteering may prevent the onset of frailty among older adults, ScienceDaily reports.
Researchers followed more than 1000 healthy adults over 70 for three years to determine if productive activities like volunteering, paid work and child care prevented the onset symptoms of frailty -- weight loss, low energy and strength and low physical activity.
At the beginning of the study, 28 percent of participants volunteered, 25 percent performed child care duties and 19 percent worked for pay. After three years, participants in all three activities were found to be less likely to become frail. After accounting for levels of physical and cognitive function, however, only volunteering was associated with lower rates of frailty.
Researchers are still trying to determine whether volunteering itself prevents frailty or if there is something about the type of people who volunteer that makes them less likely to become frail.
Read the full story at ScienceDaily.