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Randomnessosity > Article: Why Bookworms Are 20% Less Likely To Die an Early Death

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message 1: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Just thought we'd all like to pat ourselves on the back a little bit. ;-)

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/welln...


Why Bookworms Are 20% Less Likely To Die an Early Death

Your favorite hobby might be adding years to your life

Good news for bookworms: Reading books may help you live longer, new research from Yale suggests.

In the study, people who spent more than three and a half hours reading per week were 20 percent less likely to die of any cause during a 12-year follow-up than people who didn’t read at all.

Why? Reading—whether on an e-reader, an iPad, or a good, old-fashioned print book—boosts your brainpower, says study author Becca Levy, Ph.D.

It helps you focus and think both creatively and analytically, she says.

And that good brain functioning has been linked to lower rates of dementia, a condition that can raise your risk for early death.

Reading can also lower your stress hormones, which helps you sleep better and reduces your blood pressure—two factors that cut your risk of heart disease.

Interestingly, the study participants who read books experienced greater protection against early death than those who read magazines or newspapers.

That may be because you’re not as engaged in an article as you would be in a book, says Levy.

If you’re short on time, play an audiobook during your commute: Listening to a good story likely provides the same benefits as reading, since your brain will be just as engaged, says Levy.



message 2: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments


message 3: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments :-D

Where are you getting these?


message 4: by colleen the convivial curmudgeon, Not a book hipster! (new)

colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) | 2976 comments It's an app/add-on called Bitmoji (related to Bitstrips). You create an avatar of yourself, and it inserts you into a bunch of emojis. ;)


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Nah. We're just *safer* reading a book instead of hanging out at bars or hiking in the mountains for those 3 1/2 hours

Now, if the control group comprised knitters, jigsaw solvers, TV fans, and writers, people who spent at least 3 1/2 hours per week being sedentary and safe, then an argument could be made for the conclusion drawn.

I bet we live longer than ppl who spend 3 1/2 hours more per week than we do watching TV, but I bet writers beat readers (even if they're not very good).


message 6: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments Cheryl wrote: "3 1/2 hours per week being sedentary and safe"

I think I disagree with that.

The article specifically mentions:

-Reading boosts your brainpower
-It helps you focus and think both creatively and analytically
-good brain functioning has been linked to lower rates of dementia
-Reading can also lower your stress hormones, which helps you sleep better and reduces your blood pressure—two factors that cut your risk of heart disease.
-study participants who read books experienced greater protection against early death than those who read magazines or newspapers.

So, I can say that the activity will determine the usage. I will not bet that writers do better than readers but they maybe close to equal. I will say that I feel TV usage will be 75-100% worse than reading.

I have no real experience with knitting so I can't say if knitting stimulates the brain functions or not.

But as someone who has a very, very, VERY high chance of having Alzheimer's in the future, I've experienced how much reading can help to slow the tide there - while TV having no real help.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Without reading the full article, and knowing the control group, size of study, or really anything else, we know nothing. I read the abstract, and am far from convinced.

I know that reading contributes, in *my* case, to obesity and a corresponding increased risk of coronary disease. And to poorer and poorer vision. And, yes, reading does relax those who like to read, and does exercise cognitive functions... but does that translate to longer life?

Believe, me, I think reading is a good thing. I think that people who choose to read are *likely* to be better off in *many* ways than people who don't. But this study, as summarized for the media and as abstracted for the journal publication, adds no real data. Sorry.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Is anyone here a professor or student or other person who has access to the full journal article? The ten-year aspect does intrigue.


message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 18 comments I have been wondering if I should start doing brain games as I move up in age. Perhaps reading is good enough.


message 10: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Bad Girls Deadlift (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 5312 comments My family has a long history of Alzheimer's. I have lost several family members to it, including my beloved Poppa (all of his siblings as well except 1). If genetics has not blessed me, I probably will also be cursed with it. Which is why I'm not afraid of death but am terrified of age.

We had some success with reading with Poppa but TV made things horribly worse. My Poppa's sister is the only one left. Out of all of them, she was the only heavy reader in the family.

We know the reading help to extend his life because it helped him keep his brain functioning [better] longer. The better the brain functions, the better the outcome (with Alzheimer's, at least). In all honesty, I dream about going back in time and getting Poppa to read more and do more. I was back in school for interior design when it started - I wish I had brought more of my work to him to share. He perked up when he was going through the plans I drew - pointing out everything I missed, what I could have done better. I miss that - HIM - so mcuh.

So, I don't want to give the impression that ONLY reading - but reading helped a hell of a lot. What also was very [very, very VERY] important is thought based movement. It's the reason they tell seniors not stop moving and to work as long as possible.

So, I'll chose to go with the article. I noticed that when Poppa watched a lot of TV he zoned out. Tuned out. His face would get slack and his mind would fuzz iup.

The other parts that concern you - obesity, heart issues and vision - is more genetic and habit than the activity of reading. I already have a heart condition but so does every adult woman on my mom's side of the family. I can't blame that on reading - I've known it was going to happen most of my life.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) I respect your challenges and your experiences.
I'm not saying the conclusions the authors of the article drew are wrong.
I'm saying that it looks like they did bad science.

Which is too bad, because if they are right, the message might get out to even folks who use magnets and crystals.


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