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Reading Won’t Just Make Your Kid Smarter, It Could Help Them Live Longer

Flickr / Barney Moss

From decreasing the risk of dementia to improving brain function and decreasing stress, there are plenty of great reasons you and your kid should read as much as possible. But a new study from Yale found that reading books specifically could increase how long you and your family live. Which explains why your kid always wants one more bedtime story.

Researchers looked at data from 3,635 people, who provided information about their reading habits as a part of the Health And Retirement Study. After a 12-year follow-up, they found that people who spent more than 3-and-a-half hours reading per week were 20-percent less likely to die than those who didn’t read at all. Even with controls in place accounting for variables such as age, sex, race, education, wealth, health, marital status, and depression, book readers still had approximately a 23-month survival advantage.

Interestingly, the increased life expectancy did not extend to individuals who read magazines or newspapers, so you might want to get a good novel for the bathroom — for your health, of course. It’s important to note that the thousands of people studied were adults rather than children, and not having a book in their hands poses no medical emergency. But if you think hanging their own mortality over their head will get your kid reading more, that’s your call.

[H/T] Men’s Health