US Clergy: Overweight, Depressed, Burned Out

Pastors, rabbis, imams really need a vacation
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2010 7:34 AM CDT
Clergy members are increasingly burned out.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – They have higher rates of obesity, hypertension and depression than the general population, their life expectancy is shrinking, and many of them wish they had a different job. The clergy, once a profession associated with happiness and health, has a growing problem with burnout. Even the most immediate remedy—a vacation—is a tough sell to many clergy members, whose professional lives are defined by serving others.

The reasons for clergy burnout are complex, the New York Times reports. Cell phones and social media add to the constant availability of clergy members who think it's their duty to God to answer every call. The dwindling supply of volunteers in congregations adds to the clerical workload, as does the fact that far more wives of male clergy members have their own careers now than a generation ago.

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