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Thread: Can reading books prolong life?

  1. #1
    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Can reading books prolong life?

    Harvard Medical School thinks so...

    See:
    http://www.health.harvard.edu/health...utm_content=nl

    "The researchers studied the records of 5,635 participants in the Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing investigation of people who were 50 or older and had provided information on their reading habits when the study began. They determined that people who read books regularly had a 20% lower risk of dying over the next 12 years compared with people who weren't readers or who read periodicals. This difference remained regardless of race, education, state of health, wealth, marital status, and depression. These findings, which were published in the September 2016 issue of Social Science & Medicine, suggest that the benefits of reading books may include a longer life in which to read them."


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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Well, if they adjusted for education and health, the only explanation left is that people who read books tend to spend this 10% of their life longer in safety of the home reading, and 10% less traveling, biking, hiking or other more riskier activities which may lead to accidents and death.
    Example, we have two people of same health and possibly fitness. One is reading a book in spare time, the other is riding a bike. Who will have bigger chance of a fatal accident, or getting viral infection?
    If we don't adjust for health, I'm sure benefit of physical activity will be greater for longevity than benefit of reading books in safety of own home.
    My 2 cents.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

  3. #3
    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    Following one's passion I am sure prolongs your life. If reading is part of that, then of course. And feeding our natural hunger for knowledge would likely help give us inner balance. Aside from keeping our minds active. Which might help us make better decisions. Everything goes hand in hand. And everything is IMO just a good part in what helps us stay "with it" longer.

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    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firetown View Post
    Following one's passion I am sure prolongs your life.
    Like paragliding, skiing or car racing? It does improve quality of life, especially psychological quality through more happiness. But not every passion will have a positive effect on longevity.


    If reading is part of that, then of course. And feeding our natural hunger for knowledge would likely help give us inner balance. Aside from keeping our minds active. Which might help us make better decisions. Everything goes hand in hand. And everything is IMO just a good part in what helps us stay "with it" longer.
    You are assuming that most readers read science books. I bet the first on a list are romantic novels. Reading book, particularly fictional, is an automatic function that doesn't require learning new skills, memorising or logical thinking, and doesn't improve one's brain. Playing computer games does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Like paragliding, skiing or car racing? It does improve quality of life, especially psychological quality through more happiness.
    I totally agree on that.

  6. #6
    Regular Member firetown's Avatar
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    I am pretty sure that being and staying inspired by something of interest in general contributes to living longer.

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