Some of our previous #SaturdayScience posts have spoken about the health benefits of kindness. Generosity, or actual donation of money, can also have similarly good effects. Yes, science has proven this, too!
According to a study published in Health Psychology journal, spending money on others can improve one’s overall health. Researchers from University of British Columbia under the leadership of Ashley Whillans conducted this study.
“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,” the researchers said about the study.
They conducted the study on 128 who received $40 a week for three weeks. Half of them were asked to spend it on themselves, and half on others. Researchers also measured their blood pressure before, during and after the experiment. Among the people who had high blood pressure before reported a fall in blood pressure over the weeks when they donated to others.
Another interesting finding of the study was about the beneficiaries of the donation. The good effects of generosity increased with the donor’s closeness to the cause. For example, a war veteran donated to a school built in honor of a war veteran friend.
“Critically, the magnitude of these effects was comparable to the benefits of interventions such as anti-hypertensive medication and exercise,” concluded the researchers. The researchers suggest to sustain the health benefits of financial generosity, it may be necessary to engage in various acts of financial generosity, while prioritizing causes we feel close to.
This means that every time you donate, you are bringing down your blood pressure and boosting your heart health. Even more so, if the cause is something you identify with. Go on indulge yourself by donating to someone in need at Crowdera.