Want to Live Longer? Bury Yourself in a Book.

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Men’s Fitness 

 

You wouldn’t think the secret to an expanded lifespan is between these covers—but it is.

THE WRITING’S ON the wall: Getting your nose out of the gossipy websites, clicking off all the streaming screens, and picking up a book for just 30 minutes a day can help you live longer.

Yale researchers surveyed general data (income, education, health) on 3,600 subjects, ages 50 and over, who’d participated in a previous study. They then looked at how often the subjects read books, periodicals, or nothing at all.

Over the course of the study, researchers found, people who read books more than 3 1⁄2 hours a week had a 23 percent decrease in mortality compared with those who didn’t read at all. Those who averaged 3 1⁄2 hours of book reading had a 17 percent lower risk. In all, book readers lived 23 months longer than their non-reading counterparts.

Interestingly, newspaper and periodical readers had an 11 percent drop in mortality risk—but only if they read at least seven hours a week. Scientists speculate this may be because books are longer and denser, with multiple characters and complex plots, so they require more brain power than periodicals.

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