The strength of the link between health and religion varies all over the world.

As per an analysis of data extracted from a new global survey, the Pew Research Group has reached the conclusion that individuals active within religious congregations are more civically engaged and happier compared to the inactive members of almost all religious groups or religiously unaffiliated adults. The survey was done in the United States along with about two dozen countries.

According to the Pew analysis, regular participation in any religious activity is associated with increased civic engagement and higher happiness levels. Actively religious people in the United States and other countries of the world are also less probable than others to engage in so-called sinful behaviors like drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco.

Religious activity has no clear correlation between the frequency of exercise and individual obesity. No statistical connection was found between religion and self-reported better health after adjusting for age differences, income, and education among many other factors. The strength of the link between health and religion varies all over the world, including the United States.

The Pew Research data is unable to prove that attending religious services can directly improve the lives of people. On the contrary, the reality is that some people are usually active in multiple activities, both religious and secular. These activities could offer psychological or physical benefits. It is to be mentioned that these people could be more active due to them being healthier and happier.

American adults who identify themselves as actively religious (36 percent) describe themselves as extremely happy compared to one-third of inactive U.S. citizens. In 12 countries among the 25 remaining countries, the number of those actively religious who claim to be happy are significantly more than the unaffiliated ones. On matters of civic participation measurement, there is a pattern which is replicated globally: actively religious people are much more likely to be more active in community and volunteer groups.

Resources
  • Pew Research Center
  • The Friendly Atheist
  • Christianity Today
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