Reading books is a pastime that plenty of people favor, and it just so happens that there may be a benefit when you take part in said pastime. A new report has suggested that reading books can help increase your lifespan, which is a blessing for those bookworms and authors out there. A recent study had looked at 3,635 different people over the age of 50, asking them questions about their reading habits.
Scientists took the participants and divided them up into three separate groups – the ones that read no books, the ones that read books up to three ½ hours weekly, and those that read books for more than 3 and ½ hours weekly. The study was published in “Social Science & Medicine”, and it showed some shocking results. It turns out many book readers over the age of 50 tended to be of the female variety, as well as college graduates with a higher income threshold. Researchers were controlling for many factors of that nature, those of which would include race, age and even the self-reported health of participants (depression and employment status also came up).
When compared to those that didn’t read books, the group that reads for a maximum of 3 and ½ hours a week were reportedly 17% less likely to die over the next 12 years (which is when they would follow up on the study). Those that read more than 3 and ½ hours a week were at an even better mark, sporting a 23% higher chance of avoiding death over the next 12 years. Book readers seemingly lived a lot longer than those that didn’t, on average; which is a pretty peculiar find.
They also looked at those who read newspapers and other types of media (that required reading, obviously), but it seems as if the results were a little weak. Maybe you could say that the “flexing” of your mind muscles – that being, your brain – during creative reading is what is keeping these people alive longer. Maybe they just had a bad batch of participants and happened to group them poorly! Nobody can know for sure, but the results will tell you that books can help you live longer (if you’re reading enough of them!).
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