Studies show health benefits from worship attendance

It is time to stop separating “church” from “life”!

It may be partly an unfortunate legacy of having to lock our buildings in this day and age but many people seem to have the idea that what I’m doing “over there on Sunday” has nothing to do with what I’m doing “over here on weekdays”.

It is not so! – Not only because, as we say in ecclesiastical circles, real worship begins when the service ends, but because an ever-growing body of scientific studies are showing verifiable health benefits with regular worship attendance.

Over the next few months, I plan to review and examine some of those here.

Recent articles in virtual and print media reveal evidence of many health benefits: reduced blood pressure, better immune systems, better grades in school, better marriages and longer life tops the list.

On the Lightworkers website, for example, author Laura Rowley cites a study conducted over 20 years by epidemiologists at Harvard School of Public Health, and reported in the New York Times and other papers.

As they followed the church habits of study participants, they discovered that people who attend religious services weekly have better blood pressure overall than their non-attending counterparts, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease is 20-30% less. Similar studies have been conducted all over the world, with surprisingly similar or better results.

What you do “over there on Sunday” can indeed have an effect on the rest of your week!

Rev. Barbara Zimmerman
Knox United Church, Castor

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ECA Review