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Add Years to Your Life with Reading


Do you enjoy curling up with a book but worry about leaving chores undone as you indulge in a printed escape? You now can leave the guilt behind, because a recently published study at the Yale University School of Public Health found that people who read books tend to live longer–almost two years longer– than non-book readers.

The study examined whether people who read books have a survival advantage over both people who do not read books, or read other materials such as newspapers and magazines. It included 3,635 participants age 50 and older who provided information about their reading habits, and then looked at their survival rates 12 years later.

Since most book readers are educated women with relatively high incomes, researchers adjusted the data for various factors such as age, sex, race, education, wealth, marital status and depression.

The results? The people who read books, had an almost 20 percent lower risk of death compared to non-book readers, with a 23-month survival advantage. The study found that “books are protective regardless of gender, wealth, education or health.”

Known health benefits of reading include:

  • Help in keeping the brain from declining as people age

  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Reducing stress

  • Inspiring others, especially children, to read

  • Making one better-informed

  • Expanding one’s vocabulary

  • Improving concentration

  • Leading to a lifetime of higher earnings for young people

“Book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines,” researchers stated. “These findings suggest that the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.”

Categories: Simply Healthy