Reading Books May Help You Live Longer

A new study suggests that reading books can extend lifespan by up to 2 years. Moreover, the study says that the more often you read the better. The findings of the study have been published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.reading books

Scientists have come to this conclusion after analyzing the data of 3,635 men and women who participated in Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative sample of American adults aged 50 and older. They were followed-up for an average of 12 years and their survival rate was monitored during this time.

Compared to adults who did not read books, those ones who were reading books for up to three and a half hours each week were 17% less likely to die over the 12-years period follow-up, and those who read for more than three and a half hours weekly were 23% less likely to die.

Overall, adults reading books survived almost 2 years longer over the period of 12-year follow-up than non-readers.

More details here.

Reading Fiction Might Improve Empathy

In a new review a psychologist Keith Oatley from the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto, Canada, claims that reading fiction can be more beneficial than we realise, as it has the ability to encourage empathy.reading fiction

Reviewing findings from previous studies assessing an association of fiction and person’s social skills, he also talks about a study conducted by himself and his colleagues that investigated how reading fiction can influence readers’ empathetic response in the real world.

He points to one study that used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the brain’s response to imagination-inducing phrases, such as “a dark blue carpet” or an “orange-striped pencil.” “Just three such phrases were enough to produce the most activation of the hippocampus, a brain region associated with learning and memory. This points to the power of the reader’s own mind,” says Oatley.

More details here.

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