Saturday on the Couch – The Secret to a Long(er) Life 2



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It’s official, and supported by research from none other than that bastion of higher learning, Yale University – people who read live longer!

As reported recently in the Huffington Post, “book readers have a “significant survival advantage” over those who don’t read books.”

In fact, we may live up to 2 years longer than our non-reading contemporaries. The researchers did not say whether e-readers and audiobooks were included in the study, but you would have to think “reading is reading”.

“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 of epidemiology at Yale, in a New York Times post.

The Yale University study, conducted within the School of Public Health, found that people who read up to 3.5 hours per week were 17 percent less likely to die over the 12 years of the research study. Further, people who read for more than 3.5 hours per week improved their chance of longevity by 23 percent.

The good news continues for those who read newspapers and journals; their longevity increases, but not to the same extent.

As is usual with studies of this kind, some observers note there is, of course, a contrary view. As reading tends to be a sedentary occupation, conducted in “safe” environments, the rise in longevity may, in fact, be because the reader stays out of inherently dangerous situations.

Now as the friend who brought this study to my attention noted, I read an average of about 3 hours per day – does that make me immortal?

I have to wonder, does a study of this type advance the human race or would the dollars spent on this study have been best spent elsewhere?  Maybe – but that is a totally different discussion.

Over to you – do you believe people who read live longer?

There is a world of “youth-giving” books available at Dymocks.

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Karen O'Brien-Hall

I've had many careers in my life and loved each one! My new career blossomed when I retired and become an OAP. I am passionate about childhood literacy, books in general and my garden. I love Ballet, Opera, Concerts, Theatre, (both professional and community) and Movies. I tend to have opinions on most things and enjoy a good debate about the topic, not the person. In my thirties, I married my GOM (Gorgeous or Grumpy Old Man) the love of my life.

  1. Very pleased to hear that, i thought by reading i was being lazy, instead I now realise the hours I spend reading is made up in years!

  2. The greatest pleasure in life is reading. I cannot imagine my life without it for knowledge and with knowledge you do not ask ignorant questions and make people feel uncomfortable. When I read a book it has to be fact not fiction. It is fact that educates you. Education starts after you leave school and makes you an interesting person. Every time I dated a man I always found out how much reading he did and if he liked Dogs because any one who does not like Dogs is questionable in character.

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