(Mirror Daily, United States) – According to a new report, religious people can live up to four years longer than atheists do. Study authors found that there are plenty of benefits to being religiously affiliated.
In their study, researchers analyzed 1,000 obituaries. They interviewed families on the deceased people’s religious belief. The analysis revealed that churchgoers live longer than people who do not believe in God.
Study authors believe that religious people tend to live longer because they are engaged in more face-to-face social activities. Social interactions have been often linked to better health and longevity. Nevertheless, researchers acknowledged that the many benefits of being religious cannot be explained only by looking at those people’s social activities.
There’s still a lot of the benefit of religious affiliation that this can’t explain,
lead author Laura Wallace said.
Co-author Dr. Baldwin Way of the Ohio State University agrees that the link between having faith and longevity cannot be fully explained.
The initial research revealed that religious people tend to live up to 9.45 years longer than atheists. After the study was adjusted for other factors that might influence the outcomes, like sex and marital status, the figure dropped to 6.48 years. That research involved over 500 obituaries of people who died in Des Moines, Iowa, between January and February 2012.
A separate research focusing on 1,096 obituaries in 42 municipalities revealed that people who had a religious affiliation lived 3.82 years longer than their peers with no religious affiliation. The study was adjusted for sex and marital status.
Scientists also found that social activities like volunteering or active involvement in a charity only accounted for one year of longer life. So, the rest of the longevity boost offered by being religious is likely linked to a less promiscuous life, no alcohol abuse, or addictions.
Also, religious people destress through prayer and practicing gratitude, which can lead to a longer life, too.
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