People who read live longer

[Health ★★★]


(P1) Research from Yale University shows that people who read live longer. Reading for 30 minutes a day could help us. Researchers said reading keeps the mind active, reduces stress, and makes us take better care of our health. The researchers said books help the brain more than newspapers and magazines, but any kind of reading is good. In the study, researchers looked at the lifestyles, reading habits, health, and education of 3,500 men and women over a 12-year period. All of the people were at least 50 years old at the start of the research.

(P2) The study is in a journal. It found that people who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17 percent less likely to die than those who read no books. Those who read for over 3.5 hours a week were 23 percent less likely to die. A researcher said: “Older individuals, regardless of gender, health, wealth, or education; showed the survival advantage of reading books.” She added: “Individuals over the age of 65 spend an average of 4.4 hours per day watching television. Efforts to redirect leisure time into reading books could prove to be beneficial.”

WORDS: 195


VOCABULARY: lifestyles, habits, journal, gender, survival, redirect


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you like to read? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think reading is important to learn a language? Why or why not?
  4. Which do you prefer to read more: books, magazines, or newspapers? Why?


  1. Who performed the study?
  2. The study suggests books, magazines, and newspapers help the same. (T or F)
  3. How old were the people involved in the study?
  4. People who are already old will not benefit from reading. (T or F)
  5. What’s the average amount of time a person over 65 watches TV each day?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • could help us (P1)
  • keeps the mind active (P1)
  • people were at least 50m years old (P1)
  • 17 percent less likely to die (P2)
  • showed the survival advantage (P2)

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Image source: Alamy

One thought on “People who read live longer

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