A growing body of research suggests that people who are more deeply involved in religion may be more likely to adopt beneficial health behaviors. However, religion is a complex phenomenon, and as a result, religion may affect health behaviors in a number of ways. The purpose of the current study was to see whether a sacred view of the body (i.e., belief that the body is the temple of God) is associated with better health behavior. It was proposed that the relationship between a sacred body view and health behavior will emerge only among study participants who have a stronger sense of religiously oriented control (i.e., stronger God-mediated control beliefs). Five positive health behaviors were evaluated: more frequent strenuous exercise, more frequent moderate exercise, more frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, higher quality sleep, and the adoption of healthy lifestyles. Data from a recent nationwide sample reveal that a sacred body view is associated with each health behavior, but only among study participants who have a strong religiously oriented sense of control.
- God-mediated control
- health behavior
- sacred body view
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health