Staying active by doing volunteer work may be the key to lowering the risk of hypertension in older adults, ScienceDaily.com reports.

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University interviewed 1,164 participants aged 51 to 91 about their lifestyle and volunteer work in 2006 and in 2010.

The results showed that those who did volunteer work for at least 200 hours during the 2006 interview were 40 percent less likely to develop hypertension than those who didn't have any social activities.

“As people get older, social transitions like retirement, bereavement and the departure of children from the home often leave older adults with fewer natural opportunities for social interaction,” explains researcher Rodlescia S. Sneed. “Participating in volunteer activities may provide older adults with social connections that they might not have otherwise.”

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(Photo by SalFalko via Flickr Creative Commons)

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