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Why Reading May Help You Live Longer

Why Reading May Help You Live Longer

Good news for all of us bookworms, now there is even more reason to make some time to curl up with your favorite book. A new study suggests people who enjoy reading live an average of two years longer that those who don’t.

Fox News reports about the a new study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine that suggests avid readers may enjoy longer lives. Avid book reading in general is more prevalent among females (who are already known to live longer), those that are college-educated and at a higher income bracket. But when scientists adjusted for things like sex, wealth, education, marital status and health issues they still found that readers lived longer.

Researchers followed more than 3,600 male and female participants for a period of 12 years as part of the Health and Retirement study. What they found was that those participants who read for a total of about 3 and a half hours each week were 12% less likely to die during the 12 year study and those who spent even more than the 3 and a half hours were 23% less likely.

And if you’re begrudgingly making a note to pick up a copy of War and Peace right about now, don’t worry about it. Most of what participants read on a daily basis were just magazines and newspapers - so read what you love. Lead author of the study Becca R. Levy believes that the added longevity may have something to do with the cognitive benefits we get from reading.

Are you an avid reader? What kind of books do you like?

What do you think of the current study that suggests reading can prolong your life?

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