Religious People Live Four Years Longer Than Atheists, Study Finds

This post has already been read 1601 times!

Abstinence, meditation and social ties may all be a factor in increased longevity

Religious people live on average four years longer than their agnostic and atheist peers, new research has found.

The difference between practising worshippers and those who were not part of a religious group could be down to a mix of social support, stress-relieving practices and abstaining from unhealthy habits, the authors suggest.

For the study, a team of Ohio University academics, including associate professor of psychology Christian End, analysed more than 1,500 obituaries from across the US to piece together how the defining features of our lives affect our longevity.

These records include religious affiliations and marriage details as well as information on activities, hobbies and habits, which can help or hinder our health, not otherwise captured in census data.

READ  Christian Body Slams Youth Wing For Endorsing Akpabio

The study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science today, found that on average people whose obituary mentioned they were religious lived an extra 5.64 years.

Life expectancy was still 3.82 years longer in religious people when they statistically controlled for marriage rates, a factor which has been shown to increase life expectancy and help stave off disease.

“The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives,” said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

The major part of the study used more than 1,000 obituaries from newspapers in 42 states. But a further analysis of 500 obituaries from the Des Moines Register, a paper in Iowa, found the effect was more pronounced and religion was associated with an extra 6.48 years of life, suggesting living in a more religious area might have an extra effect.

READ  The Law of Identification: How God Identifies His Own

Religious participation often goes hand-in-hand with increased participation in activities and social groups, which might help tackle loneliness and sedentary lifestyles that could also shorten life expectancy.

But analysis of activities mentioned in the report found this accounted for a fraction of the effect.

“We found that volunteerism and involvement in social organisations only accounted for a little less than one year of the longevity boost that religious affiliation provided,” said Laura Wallace, the study’s lead author.

“There’s still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can’t explain.”

The authors suggested that the remaining life expectancy might be a result of religious people being more likely to abstain from alcohol and drug use and other behaviours that could affect life expectancy – though these were not regularly recorded in obituaries.

READ  The Consequences of Not Believing In God

There also may be a benefit of “stress reducing practices” such as meditation, yoga or prayer, Dr Way added.

 

 

[INDEPENDENT]

Related Posts

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest

Comments

comments

Obayomi Abiola Benjamin on sabtwitterObayomi Abiola Benjamin on sabgoogleObayomi Abiola Benjamin on sabfacebookObayomi Abiola Benjamin on sabemail
Obayomi Abiola Benjamin
CEO/Chief Editor at FridayPosts.com
I am Abiola OBAYOMI Benjamin, a Writer by Grace, an Author: (Developing Yourself Spiritually), a Blogger (Fridayposts.Com) and a passionate Nigerian. I believe Nigeria will be great again, but the change we need in Nigeria begins with all of us doing things differently. Collectively, we can make Nigeria work.

Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

I am Abiola OBAYOMI Benjamin, a Writer by Grace, an Author: (Developing Yourself Spiritually), a Blogger (Fridayposts.Com) and a passionate Nigerian. I believe Nigeria will be great again, but the change we need in Nigeria begins with all of us doing things differently. Collectively, we can make Nigeria work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons

Religious People Live Four Years Longer Than Atheists, Study Finds

by Obayomi Abiola Benjamin time to read: 2 min
0