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How to live longer: Dr Mosley shares the ‘key to longer life’ – it involves sitting

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Although lifestyle habits play a huge role in your overall health as well as longevity, there’s more to living longer than vegetables and exercise. Speaking on his podcast Just One Thing, Dr Mosley said: “It’s about an hour before bedtime, and I’m about to do something that should increase my empathy and boost my mental health. It could even help me live longer.” The doctor is about to read.

Flipping through the pages of your favourite book while getting lost in the story isn’t only a great hobby but also a longevity booster.

Dr Mosley said: “Get this, reading not only helps keep you mentally fit as you age, it could even be the key to a longer life.

“Research from Yale University found that those who read for 30 minutes a day lived on average 23 months longer than those who did not.

“That’s almost two years.”

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The podcaster also invited a guest, Dr Raymond Mar, who is a professor of Psychology at York University, to dive into the science behind being a bookworm.

Dr Mar said: “There’s a couple of very fascinating studies in which researchers have followed older adults. 

“And what they found was that individuals who spent more time leisure reading actually live longer.”

One particular study looked at more than 3,500 Americans over the age of 50.

The researchers found that those who liked to read books had a 20 percent lower risk of mortality.

Dr Mar said: “This benefit they observed for reading books was actually not observed to the same degree for other kinds of sedentary activities. 

“We don’t really know why it’s the case and there are definitely puzzling parts about it. 

“This reduced mortality isn’t really observed to the same degree when people are reading newspapers or magazines.”

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Dr Mosley proposed one theory that might explain what makes reading so potent. Research shows that people who are socially engaged tend to live longer.

“Maybe people actually develop relationships with characters in the book,” added the doctor.

However, if you want to do reading by the book, you need to stick to these rules.

Dr Mar shared that you should make reading into a regular habit, even if you just read “small bite sized chunks” daily.

What’s more, it doesn’t matter what genre you reach for as long as you’re enjoying it and don’t feel like you’re forcing yourself.

Dr Mosley suggested spending a half an hour reading before bed to get into the habit of it.

The podcaster concluded: “I love getting lost in stories. 

“But if this is not just one thing you are already doing, then do give it a go.

“Your brain, your empathy, and even your mental health could benefit.” And let’s not forget your longevity.

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