Want to live longer? Read


Beyond simple education and adventure, reading has so many life-long benefits for us — no matter what our age(s) or levels of experience. But, now, we’ve got further evidence on the benefits — with a Yale study recently published in Social Science & Medicine.

The study looked at 3,635 subjects in the Health and Retirement Study over the age of 50; and found a mortality risk reduction (of ~20%) for those who read books, compared with non-readers. Yale Professor Becca R. Levy noted: “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,” and those finding held true regardless of “wealth, education, cognitive ability and many other variables.”

Why Does Reading Contribute to a Longer Life?

It’s true that reading would also support other healthy habits that lead to a longer (and hopefully happier) life. Here are 3 top ways that reading can help:

  • Get Outside: You can take your book with you anywhere!
  • Get Social: Book clubs are a great way to stay active, while you enjoy the company of bookish friends.
  • Get Fit: Walk to your favorite reading spot; and/or you can read more ways to stay fit.

When we read, we can travel anywhere — from the comfort of our favorite spot (in a comfortable chair, or top of that vista). Now, we’ve got even more reason to become ensnared in books. Reading as little as three hours every day can not only change your life, but also help you live longer!


Esther is a full-time freelancer, who draws upon her background to deliver fun and compelling stories. To her, the story and the vehicle(s) of expression are important, but sometimes it's just as essential to explore those areas just outside one's comfort zone. She loves to jump head-first into that deep ravine, and discover where her parachute will take her.

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