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Teens who volunteer improve their health

Teens who volunteer improve their health
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POSTED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:07pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:08pm

Teens can actually improve their health by giving back to the community. 

A Canadian study published online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Pediatrics found that young adults who volunteered for just one hour a week in an elementary school had lower cholesterol and inflammation levels and lower BMI's than teens who didn't volunteer. 

The study also found the volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, altruistic behavior and mental health were the ones who also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health.

Previous studies had shown that psychosocial factors, such as stress, depression and well being, play a role in cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in North America.

So if you needed another reason to give back, here it is.

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