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Study reveals that reading books could actually extend your life

In the most unsurprising news ever: books are good for you! If you read to get a little escape from the world then the irony is that you’ve been extending your stay.

For real. A study published in Social Science & Medicine observed the habits of 3,635 people over 12 years and found that regular readers lived two years longer than non-readers.

The entrants were all aged over 50 and classified as one of three types: reads more than 3.5 hours a day, less than 3.5 hours a day or not at all. At the end of the study, it was found that heavyweight bookworms were 23% less likely to die than non-readers, while light-literarians were 17% less likely.

“As little as 30 minutes a day was still beneficial in terms of survival,” said Avni Bavishi, one of the researchers. “When readers were compared to non-readers at 80% mortality (the time it takes 20% of a group to die), non-book readers lived 85 months (7.08 years), whereas book readers lived 108 months (9.00 years) after baseline. Thus, reading books provided a 23-month survival advantage.”

Unfortunately, this miraculous fact does not extend to magazines or newspapers, so don’t be thinking you’ll live to a hundred by reading the sports page every day. Bavishi explained that “this effect is likely because books engage the reader’s mind more – providing more cognitive benefit, and therefore increasing the lifespan.”

Lost At E Minor has conducted its own in-depth study. Results show conclusively that reading this post has added five seconds to your life.

You’re welcome.

Via The Guardian

About the author

Milo Sumner is a day-dreamer, living and breathing in London. When feeling low, he tends to cut loose and chase after dogs in the park. Otherwise he can usually be found pondering what to have for lunch.

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