Study shows church attendance is good for your health

Study shows church attendance is good for your health

By Kevin Payne

A new study shows that church attendance might give you a longer life. The study shows that people who attend worship services on a regular basis experience less stress and have fewer health issues.

The recent study by Professor Marion Bruce of Vanderbilt University has found that people who attend religious services live longer, happier lives.  The findings held true across many faith traditions, Bruce said.

“We found in our study that actually attending church is actually good for your health, particularly for those who are between the ages of 40 and 65,” said Bruce, who is also a Baptist minister.

Specifically, the study says that those middle-aged adults who go to church, synagogues, mosques, or other houses of worship reduce their mortality risk by as much as 55 percent.  The data for the study was gathered from 5,449 participants of both sexes and all races.

“For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did attend church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.

The researchers used publicly available data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The study also took social support into account since other studies have presumed that it was a key factor.

“While churches are places where people can get social support, we actually found that and began to think about whether compassion is particularly important, feeling that you’re doing good or having empathy for others,” Bruce said.

The research may suggest that there is a connection between spiritual health and biological outcomes.

The study was officially published on May 16 in Plos One, a multidisciplinary open access journal and data notes are now available to the public.

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