Reading a book for a few hours a week can add two years to your life

Picture: kupicoo/iStock
Picture: kupicoo/iStock

New research by the university of Yale has found that people who regularly read books live on average two years longer than non readers.

No, this is not about the book: From Forked Tongue to Forever Young: How to Make a Pact with Satan.

According to research published in Social Science and Medicine, the hours per week a person spends reading is a significant factor in increasing their longevity.

Using a group of 3,635 people, the scientists divided the participants into three categories:

1) Those who didn't read at all.

2) Those who read for 3.5 hours per week or less.

3) Those who read for more than 3.5 hours per week.

This was adjusted for other factors which influence longevity such as gender, race, education, wealth, marital status and depression, and they found the those who read for more than 3.5 hours per week were 23 per cent less likely to die than participants from the two other groups.

In addition, the study established a general principle that the more a person reads, the more health benefits they received.

The conclusion of the study's abstract ends with a rather lovely sentiment:

The benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.

The findings compliment a recent study in Neurology showed that just as jogging improves your cardiovascular system, reading is a good workout for the brain.

White Goodman wasn't so dumb after all.

I like to break a mental sweat too

Of course, we first got this news about the value of reading from HE-Man's Skeletor. He's existed long beyond his expected expiration date, and now we know why.

HT Melanie Curtin

More: 12 books everyone should read to make them smarter, according to a neuroscientist

More: These are the 10 books every child should read before they leave school

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