Marriage is good for you!

In honor of National Marriage Week (February 7-14), the Heritage Foundation assures us that the data is in and — in case there was any doubt — married families are healthier and happier. 

Most people know that eating well and exercising regularly leads to better health. What some people may not know, however, is that marriage is also good for their health. And its benefits extend across gender, race, and income levels. Furthermore, both married adults and children from married-parent families are more likely to have good health.

These conclusions were drawn from a variety of research studies which showed that married individuals tend to have healthier lifestyles, resulting in better overall health than their single or even cohabiting counterparts.

Part of the reason for increased longevity is the decrease in risky behaviors when people marry, such as reduced rates of alcohol abuse and sexual promiscuity. Furthermore, men report increases in positive health behaviors when they wed.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that married men say that they experience decreases in physical symptoms compared to their single peers. While the health benefits of marriage for women aren’t quite as immediate, they do come with the duration of the marriage. Additionally, both men and women report better psychological health.

As couples grow older, marriage appears to be even more vital to health. Over 75 percent of elderly adults who are still married say they have good or excellent health, and they are less likely than their peers to report limitations in their “activities of daily living.”

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