Spiritual and physical health habits in middle -aged religious women
The problem of the study was to determine the nature of and associations between spiritual and religious experiences and habits, and the dietary and exercise behaviors of middle-aged religious women. The subjects of the study were 492 middle-aged (45–65 year old) female members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in randomly selected congregations throughout the state of Utah during 2004. All subjects completed a 66 question survey instrument, the Spiritual and Physical Health Questionnaire (SPHQ), designed to collect data on demographics, dietary and exercise behaviors, daily spiritual experiences, and religious and prayer practices. Data were collected from July through October 2004, and were analyzed using SPSS version 13 commands for descriptive data, T-tests, Pearson and canonical correlations, and factor analysis. Findings suggest that spiritual health is defined by at least three separate constructs of spirituality, religiosity, and prayer, and that increased levels of these constructs correlate with greater awareness of dietary habits and increased frequency and duration of light/moderate physical activity. Prayer correlated with spirituality, religiosity, and physical health habits. Women with high levels of both spirituality and religiosity are more likely to have higher levels of dietary awareness and physical activity as compared with women with low levels of both, or high level on one construct and low on the other. Several demographic variables correlated with spiritual and physical health habits. Researchers and health educators can utilize the knowledge gained from this study to improve understanding of the spiritual health dimension, including the definition, constructs, and potential uses of spiritual health in relation to dietary and exercise habits.
0680: Health education
0453: Womens studies