Want to live an extra six years? You’ve gotta have faith!
BEING actively religious could add more than six years to your life, a study suggests.
Researchers believe the social aspect of a religious community could improve well-being, and said religious rules prohibited unhealthy behaviours and promoted positive activity amongst the faithful. In the study, led by Ohio State University and published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, psychologists examined two sets of obituaries: 1,096 from US national newspapers and 505 from a local newspaper in Iowa. The results of the analysis of the local newspaper found people whose obituaries mentioned religion lived for 6.48 years longer on average than those whose memorials did not.
The second analysis, of national newspapers, found those of religious faith lived for an average of 3.82 years longer, once gender and marital status were considered.
Co-author Dr Baldwin Way said: ‘The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives.’