It’s said reading is fundamental, and new research suggests it could also help keep you healthy, in the form of living longer. A study involving more than 3,500 adults over the age of 50 evaluated the likelihood of dying over a 12-year tracking period after categorizing subjects into one of three groups based on their reading habits: non-readers, moderate-level readers (read books 3.5 hours or less a week) and high-level readers (read books more than 3.5 hours each week).
Overall, book readers outlived non-readers by almost two years, on average, while moderate-level readers were 17 percent less likely to die during the study period, and high-level readers 23 percent less likely to die, compared to non-readers. Keep in mind that 3.5 weekly hours of reading works out to only a half hour a day, on average, so it’s a completely attainable goal – and one well worth it, considering what the research suggests.
Keep in mind that the researchers accounted for other potential variables, including education, income, self-reported health, employment, etc., so their findings were truly a reflection of whether or not subjects read, not any of the other variables.
So pick up a book and start reading! You’ll enjoy yourself and extend your life in the process.
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