According to a new study, attending religious services is beneficial for health, particularly for middle-aged adults.
“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 Marino Bruce, the associate director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Research on Men’s Health, in a video posted on Vanderbilt University's website on Friday.
The study showed that mortality risk for those middle-aged adults who regularly go to churches, synagogues, mosques or other places of worship will be reduced by 55%.
“For those who did not attend church at all, they were twice as likely to die prematurely than those who did who attended church at some point over the last year,” Bruce said.
5,449 people of both sexes participated in the study. The study focused on analyzing the participants’ worship attendance, mortality and allostatic load, which is a physiological measurement, and social support.
“I'm ordained clergy so I'm always about what do we mean by our spiritual health. Does spiritual health matter with respect to biological outcomes?” Bruce added.
Bruce went on to say: “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.”