UMass Boston Minute: Gerontology at UMass Boston

Anna Pinkert | April 04, 2014
Jeffrey Burr

Jeffrey Burr
Image by: Harry Brett

Narrator: This is a UMass Boston Minute.

Jeff Burr: Your biological makeup doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

Narrator: Jeff Burr, chair of the Department of Gerontology at UMass Boston's McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

Burr: In our department we tend to focus on aging and health, families in later life, economic security. One of the things I’ve looked at recently has been the relationship between volunteering for formal organizations and hypertension. So we wanted to know whether or not helping people in formal environments was actually going to be a positive thing for keeping people’s hypertension under control. And indeed we did find that people who volunteer, and people who volunteer more hours during the year, actually have lower blood pressure and lower hypertension than those who do not volunteer. One of the things that gerontologists, among other fields, has shown is that staying active means you’re going to be healthy longer and live longer. Staying active means being active socially, being active mentally, and certainly being active physically.

Narrator: Visit us on the web at

Tags: aging , burr , gerontology , research

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Comments (1)

Posted by Kristen Porter | April 07, 2014 - 10:19 a.m.

Excellent reminder of the importance of service.