Bookworms live longer

Bibliophilia is good for your health: A new
study suggests that people who read books
regularly may add nearly two years to
their lives. Researchers at Yale University
examined the reading habits of 3,635
people over 50 and found that the ones
who buried their noses in a book for more
than 3.5 hours each week—or 30 minutes a
day—were 23 percent less likely to die over
the course of the 12-year study, reports The
Christian Science Monitor. Even after variables
such as health, education, and income
were taken into account, bookworms were
17 percent less likely to die over the same
period than their non-reading peers. It’s
unclear why reading is associated with this
“survival advantage,” but the researchers
suggest delving into novels promotes
cognitive processes, such as empathy and
emotional intelligence, which can boost
longevity. Unfortunately, reading magazines
and newspapers may not provide the same
benefit. “We uncovered that this effect is
likely because books engage the reader’s
mind more,” says researcher Avni Bavishi,
“providing more cognitive benefit, and
therefore increasing the life span.”

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