With the help of a large Norwegian longitudinal health study called HUNT, researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) were able to find a clear relationship between time spent in church and lower blood pressure in both women and men.
“We found that the more often HUNT participants went to church, the lower their blood pressure, even when we controlled for a number of other possible explanatory factors,” says Torgeir Sørensen, a PhD candidate from the School of Theology and Religious Psychology Centre at Sykehuset Innlandet (Inland Hospital). Previous research from the United States has shown that there is a possible link between people who attend church and blood pressure.
For this study, church attendance was selected as a variable to represent religious activity, and blood pressure was selected as a variable that gives an indication of overall health with respect to a variety of diseases and conditions. The study found that the variable used to measure religious activities (church time) had a significant relationship to the variable used to measure health (blood pressure). In other words, those who were religiously active were healthier than those who were not religiously active.