Religion vs. Longevity

Here's a little ammunition for those of you who have unsuccessfully tried to get a loved one to go to church. In this Feature at Five for Friday, we find out how attending church is statistically shown to improve your health and help you live longer.

University of Texas professor Robert Hummer is visiting FSU with a message that may shed some light on the benefits of religion.

“The overall story is the those who are religiously involved, as indexed by attendance, live longer than people who don't,” he says.

In fact, his research shows people who never attend church die one and a half times more frequently than those who attend church regularly.

During his lecture in Tallahassee, Hummer explained one reason is healthy living. Churchgoers are less likely to smoke, drink or take up harmful habits, but it apparently goes much deeper.

Kretschman agrees with Hummer's work, saying a strong support system is a form of medication when serious health issues arise, and finally, Hummer says people who have religious involvement are less likely to be depressed or stressed.

Local minister Jarvis Green says, “amen!”

Friday’s lecture was sponsored by the FSU Center for Demography and Population Health.