Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Clergy Health Initiative = Ministry is Bad for Your Health

Round two of surveys were sent out by the Clergy Health Initiative. the goal of this group "is not simply to gauge the state of pastors' health. It is to facilitate changes that enhance it." This is study done with the Western North Carolina and North Carolina Conference and is run through the Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School.

With their request for us to fill out another round of surveys, which did take almost 45 minutes to complete (but was compensated $25 for doing it, DATE NIGHT WITH THE MRS!), they provided us with a few facts from the first survey. It seems being a minister can be bad for your health!

All of these stats are compared to the state of North Carolina as a whole.

Obesity Rates: NC= 29% Clergy = 40%
Arthritis: NC= 27% Clergy = 29%
High Blood Pressure: NC= 25% Clergy = 29%
Asthma: NC= 10% Clergy = 14%
Diabetes: NC= 7% Clergy = 10%
Depression: NC= 6% Clergy = 10%

It is intersting that compared to NC, we are higher in every category. No wonder we pay an arm and leg for health care (at least in the WNCC).


David said...

The cynic in me is beginning to wonder at the statistics we keep seeing. As a clergy person I am still concerned. I wonder how many of the conditions were pre-existing when someone came into ministry. The one that triggered that thought for me was the "asthma" question. I was diagnosed at 6 months, so I can't even say it was a product of my calling (which I heard at about 6 years old).
Are sick people more likely to fill a call to ministry, where they feel the "limitations" will be less obvious, or problematic, than other fields?

Unknown said...

David I think you are right. Second career people probably do bring a lot of pre-existing conditions with them. Plus are we really surprised God didn't choose the healthy, fit and good looking to represent him to the masses?

You did make me think too. I wonder if this group followed young clergy or career clergy (those with no other vocation before) and compared them to people their age if they would have the same results?