So says science...
There’s no doubt about it, reading is good for the soul. Nothing beats that new book smell, or being snuggled on the sofa with a hot drink with your nose stuck in a really great book.
Well, book lovers rejoice: Science has just proven that being a bookworm is actually really, really good for your health.
A recent study, published in Social Science and Medicine, has revealed that people who regularly read novels are more likely to live longer compared to those who never read.
The research, which was carried out at Yale University, looked at 3,000 individuals over a period of two decades, between 1992 and 2012. All of the participants were over 50 years of age at the beginning of the study and they studied the group for twenty years.
According to the New York Times, during the 12 year follow-up period, researchers found that people who read up to three and a half hours a week were 17% less likely to pass away than those who didn’t read at all. And if the participants read even more than that, they were 23% less likely to pass away during that period.
On that note, be sure to check out our round up of books to read before you die.
What was perhaps yet even more fascinating was that researchers found that reading regularly added on an average of two years to the participants lives. Pretty interesting stuff, no?
In order to reap the health benefits of reading, it does have to be reading books, however – the research found that reading magazines and newspapers didn’t have the same effect as burying your head in a good novel.
As all the participants were aged over 50 years though, it’s not known how reading affects younger people – but, hey, it can’t hurt to get a head start, can it?
See you at the library.