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Want to live longer? Read a book
Sep 09

Want to live longer? Read a book

They say reading makes you smarter, more worldly. And now science says reading for just 3.5 hours a week could extend your life!

Yes, avid book readers live about two years longer than non-readers. Just think of how many more books you could read in that time.

What did the study involve?

More than 3500 people took part in the Yale University School of Public Health study, published in ‘Social Science & Medicine’ journal.

Twelve years after first being divided into groups of readers and non-readers, the participants were assessed again.

The researchers found that people who read for more than 30 minutes a day were 23 percent less likely to die. And those who read for up to 30 minutes a day were 17 percent less likely to die.

“When readers were compared to non-readers at 80% mortality (the time it takes 20% of a group to die), non-book readers lived 85 months (7.08 years), whereas book readers lived 108 months (9.00 years) after baseline. Thus, reading books provided a 23-month survival advantage,” the researchers explained.

Does it matter what you read?

What’s important to note is that the results were most profound for book-readers. So if you only read newspapers or magazines, you may want to add books to the mix.

“We found that reading books provided a greater benefit than reading newspapers or magazines. We uncovered that this effect is likely because books engage the reader’s mind more – providing more cognitive benefit, and therefore increasing the lifespan,” the researchers said.

“Cognitive engagement may explain why vocabulary, reasoning, concentration, and critical thinking skills are improved by exposure to books. [Books] can promote empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence, which are cognitive processes that can lead to greater survival.”

Topic: Wellbeing


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