BOOKWORMS Rejoice! People who indulge in regular book reading are likely to live longer than those who do not read at all, a new study has claimed. Researchers at Yale University in the US used data on 3,635 people over 50 years of age participating in a larger health study.
Participants were divided into three groups: those who read no books, those who read books up to three and a half hours a week, and those who read books more than three and a half hours.
The study found that most of the book readers tended to be female, college-educated and in higher income groups.
Researchers controlled for those factors as well as age, race, self-reported health, depression, employment and marital status.
Compared with those who did not read books, those who read for up to three and a half hours a week were 17 per cent less likely to die over 12 years of follow-up, and those who read more than that were 23 per cent less likely to die.
Researchers found a similar association among those who read newspapers and periodicals, but it was weaker.
“People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read,” said the senior author, Becca R Levy, a professor at Yale.
“The survival advantage remained after adjusting for wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables,” said Levy.
So all those who are interested in enjoying life a bit longer, try inculcating the habit of book reading without any more loss of time.
The study was published in the journal of Social Science and Medicine