Community Service and Wellbeing – Summary

Purpose: To assess the impact of community service on personal wellbeing in a mid-west church-based population. Methods: A prospective survey evaluating: self-reported community service, the perceived benefit of the service and its association to personal wellbeing. Results: 309 participants were included of whom 92% were employed full or part time, homemakers or students. Those who served in some capacity had better scores on five Wellbeing questions including: contentment, peace, joy, purpose and community acceptance (P<0.02), but not better self-perceived mental or physical health (P>0.05). People who served had a better combined Wellbeing score than those who could not serve (P=0.03). A higher number of hours served/week was associated with better Global Wellbeing (P=0.02). The greatest perceived benefit of service was related to enhancing wellbeing of others and the service organization itself (P<0.0001). Conclusions: Church going adults, who are serving in some capacity in their church or community, may demonstrate heightened personal wellbeing compared to those who are not assisting others.