Boost your Health?
- More than 75% of 325 studies
show that religion improves health and well-being1
- People who attend church
services often - once a week or more - live longer
than those who dont according to a recent study of
5000 people conducted by the Public Health Institute 2
- Persons who regularly attend
church services report lower levels of psychological
distress and a greater sense of well-being
than infrequent attenders and non-attenders 3
- Regular church attendance
turns out to be a better predictor than family structure
or income that African-American youth will stay away
from drugs or crime concluded a Harvard University
- 81% of relevant studies in a
systematic review of research published in the Journal of
Family Practice over a 10 year period found a positive
association between religious commitment and health
- Most published studies show
that more religiously committed patients have lower
blood pressures 6
- The majority of the studies
regarding African-Americans and Hispanics indicates the
importance of religion, and particularly the church, for social
support and coping 7
- Those who use religious means
of coping seem to cope more effectively with illness
than those who do not use religious means of coping 8
- A study of 232 elderly
patients who had heart surgery determined that a
religious perspective could enhance the recovery
- According to a ten year
follow-up of 2,700 persons in an epidemiological health
study, increased church attendance is the only social
factor that effectively lowers mortality rates in
- There is a positive
association between religiousity and self-esteem,
family cohesion, and perceived well-being according
to social psychological studies 11
- A 1992 Gallup survey found
that religious faith and practice is a primary source
of happiness 12
- Those with a strong faith retain
greater happiness after suffering divorce,
unemployment, serious illness, or bereavement. 13
- The elderly who were actively
involved in religious behaviors were more likely than the
less religious to achieve high morale scores
according to a study in The Gerontologist. 14
- Relative to their peers,
religious youth are less likely to engage in behaviors
that compromise their health (drinking and driving, etc.)
and are more likely to behave in ways that
enhance their health 15
- Researchers have found that
religious practice can lower disease risk and enhance
well-being, as well as provide social support, which
buffers stress and enhances coping. 16
1 Williams III, Gurney.
"How Prayer Heals" McCalls Dec 1998: 90.
2 Gurney 92.
Commitment: Good for your health" Family Research
Council: In Focus 1.
4 Shapiro, Joseph P.
and Andrea Wright. "Can Churches Save America" US
News and World Report Sept 9 1996.
5 Matthews MD, Dale A.
et al. "Religious Commitment and Health Status" Archives
of Family Medicine Mar/Apr 1998: 119.
6 Matthews 121.
7 Stolley, Phd.
Jacqueline M., and Harold Koenig, "Religion/Spirituality and
Health Among Elderly African Americans and Hispanics" Journal
of Psychosocial Nursing Vol 35, No. 11: 36.
8 Matthews 122.
9 Matthews 122.
10 Religious 2.
11 Bergin, Allen E.
"Values and Religious Issues in Psychotherapy and Mental
Health" American Psychologist Apr 1991: 401.
Elizabeth. "Religion and the Abundant Life"
13 Myers, David.
"Whos Happy? Whos Not?" Christianity
Today Nov. 23, 1992: 26.
14 Koenig MD, Harold G.
et. al. "Religion and Well-being in Later Life" The
Gerontologist Vol. 28, No. 1, 1988: 25.
15 Wallace Jr., Phd,
John M. and Tyrone Forman, "Religions Role in
Promoting Health and Reducing Risk among American Youth" Health
Education and Behavior Dec 1998: 721.
16 Levin, Phd. Jeffrey
S. et al. "Religion and Spirituality in Medicine: Research
and Education" JAMA Sept 3, 1997. Vol 278, No. 9:
page was last updated on 01/23/00.