Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 591–603 | Cite as

Volunteer Work, Religious Commitment, and Resting Pulse Rates

  • Neal Krause
  • Gail Ironson
  • Peter C. Hill
Original Paper


Research indicates that greater involvement in volunteer activities is associated with better health. We aim to contribute to this literature in two ways. First, rather than rely on self-reports of health, measured resting pulse rates serve as the dependent variable. Second, an effort is made to see if religious commitment moderates the relationship between volunteering and resting pulse rates. Data that come from a recent nationwide survey (N = 2265) suggest that volunteer work is associated with lower resting pulse rates. The results also reveal that the relationship between engaging in volunteer work and resting pulse rates improves among study participants who are more deeply committed to religion.


Volunteering Religious commitment Resting pulse rates 



Funding for this study was provided by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation (#40077).

Compliance with Ethnical Standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Krause declares he has no conflict of interest, Dr. Ironson declares she has no conflict of interest, and Dr. Hill declares he has no conflict of interest

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals that were performed by the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human subjects were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA
  3. 3.Biola UniversityLa MiradaUSA

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