Is There a New Way to Extend Your Life Story?
While sales of e-readers have leveled off since reaching a high in 2011, sales of printed books are rising in the U.S.—and that’s definitely a good thing. Research shows the more you read, the better for your health. According to a new study, published in Social Science & Medicine, reading can add 2 years to your life.
Researchers analyzed data from the Health and Retirement Survey—a national sample of more than 3,600 men and women over the age of 50. Participants reported their reading habits at the start of the study and their survival was then monitored for an average of 12 years.
During the study period, people who read up to 3 ½ a week were 17% less likely to die than people who did not read books, and those who read more than 3 ½ hours a week were 23% less likely to die. Increased survival was also seen in people who reported reading newspapers and magazines, but the percentage was lower than for those who read books. One possible reason: the cognitive benefits of reading.
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