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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