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Yale Study Says Reading Books Makes You Live Longer

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Bookworms, rejoice! The New York Times reports that a study out of Yale University has found that the more you read, the longer you’re likely to live.

The study, performed with more than 3,600 participants and focusing on health, categorized participants into three groups: those who didn’t read books at all, those who read books for up to three and a half hours a week, and those who read books for more than that each week.

Those who read the most lived nearly two years longer, on average, than those who didn't read at all. More specifically, the biggest bookworms were 23 percent less likely to die over a 12-year span of follow-ups. Those who read up to three and a half hours weekly (but not more) were 17 percent less likely to die over that period of follow-ups than the non-readers.

Senior author Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale University School of Public Health, said, “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read.” This remained true even after adjusting for other factors, such as age, race, employment, wealth and more.  

Fox News reports that these researchers suspect that a reader’s survival rate may increase because of cognitive benefits that reading affords, which supports previous studies discussed by Tech Times. One found that children who had access to books made higher incomes in the future than children who didn't.

The average book readers in the Yale study were college-educated females with larger incomes. Being in college, we’ve already got an advantage—So if you’re not reading anything right now, what are you waiting for?


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