As if we need another reason to love books, scientists have now found a correlation between reading and longevity. Published by Yale University researchers in the Social Science and Medicine journal, the study found that book readers lived 23 months longer than their counterparts.
The researchers looked at readers over the age of 50 whose reading habits ranged from not reading at all to reading over 3.5 hours per week. Controlling for factors such as race, gender, education, and wealth, the results concluded that “book readers experienced a 20% reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up compared to non-book readers.”
And while scientists don’t know exactly why this correlation exists, the study did find that reading magazines and newspapers did not have the same health benefits, suggesting that books “engage readers’ minds more than newspapers and magazines, leading to cognitive benefits that drive the effect of reading on longevity.”
Don’t have hours on end to devote to reading? Not to worry, even a chapter a day will do the trick. The study states:
“… those who read books for an average of 30 min per day – say, a chapter a day – showed a survival advantage, compared to those who did not read books. The robustness of our findings suggest that reading books may not only introduce some interesting ideas and characters, it may also give more years of reading.”
Moral of the story? Just keep reading!
Are you surprised by the findings of this new study? Share in the comments!
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