Good news for book lovers. Reading a chapter a day helps keeps the doctor away. According to a recent study performed by the Yale School of Public Health, those who read books have a survival advantage over those who don’t.
The study, published in Social Science & Medicine, found that participants who spent up to 3 ½ hours per week reading books (or 30 minutes a day) were 17% less likely to die in the following 12-month period. That number jumped to 23% when participants read more than 3 ½ hours per week.
Researchers looked at 3,635 adults aged 50 and older with a mix of sexes, education and income levels, and asked them questions about their reading habits. While a positive association was seen between length of life and reading newspapers and magazines, the link was strongest in people who read books. The authors of the study say that more involved reading — the kind invoked by books — improves cognition, which can help protect against age-related illnesses. In fact, they found that book readers lived an average of two years longer than non-book readers.