How does Religion Affect a Healthy Lifestyle?

by Emilee T on October 8, 2012 - 6:11pm

I found this study to be very interesting, which showed the connection between religious involvement and living a healthy life in postmenopausal women. The women, in the Women’s Health Initiative observational study all had similar qualities to fit the study’s parameters. They looked at the women’s worship attendance and compared it with healthy choices, like limited alcohol consumption, non-smoking, having preventive medical tests, exercising regularly, and eating habits. The results of this study was women who did attend worship more frequently were found to have a higher fiber intake, sensible drinking, were non-smokers, and used preventive medicine services. Attendance had little effect on exercising regularly and dietary habits such as, lower caloric and saturated fat intake. The study also showed that these women, who attended religious services, lived a longer more satisfying life (Salmoirago-Blotcher et al. 2011). I know that this study was on only postmenopausal women, but maybe other groups could benefit from the results from this study. I would like to see studies on other groups of people, not just postmenopausal women, and see what the results would be. Maybe now younger generations might look into practicing religion to compliment their healthy lifestyles, if they do not already. Religion is just one factor that can affect all aspects of a healthy lifestyle.




Salmoirago-Blotcher, Elena, George Fitchett, Judy K. Ockene, Eliezer Schnall, Sybil Crawford, Iris Granek, JoAnn Manson, Ira Ockene, Mary Jo O’Sullivan, Lynda Powell, and Stephen Rapp. 2011. “Religion and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Among Postmenopausal Women: the Women’s Health Initiative.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 34:360–371.