That book club is sounding better and better.
According to a new study published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, avid readers tend to live longer than those who pass on the written word altogether. After surveying 3,635 people aged 60 and up about their health, Yale University School of Public Health researchers discovered that the questions about reading habits provided some surprising results.
Researchers split the respondents into three groups. There were those who read a maximum of three and a half hours a week, those who read more, and those who didn’t bother to read at all. Separating other variables such as age, gender, education, and income, analysts were able to isolate reading as a factor that could increase one’s lifespan.
But by how much exactly? The study found that participants who read more than three and a half hours a week were 23 percent less likely to die than their non-reading counterparts. In other words, fervent readers lived up to two years longer than non-readers, and those benefits only improved along with an increase in time spent reading. While books are the golden standard for upping your years on Earth, researchers found that magazines and newspapers helped people as well.
And as everyone knows, learning about different perspectives can expand your intellectual scope, making your lifetime not only feel broader but richer as well. So whether it’s a light beach read or a dissertation on quantum theory, pick it up and get to work. Your life might depend on it.