Researcher Mark Taylor, from the Department of Sociology, analysed 17,200 questionnaire responses from people born in 1970, which gave details of extra-curricular activities at the age of 16 and their careers at the age of 33. The findings, presented at the British Sociological Association on May 4, show that girls who had read books at 16 had a 39 per cent probability of a professional or managerial post at 33, but only a 25 per cent chance if they had not. For boys who read regularly, the figure went up from 48 per cent to 58 per cent.
None of the other activities, such as taking part in sports or activities, socialising, going to museums or galleries or to the cinema or concerts, or practical activities like cooking or sewing, were found to have a significant effect on their careers. Mr Taylor also found that playing computer games frequently did not make it less likely that 16-year-olds would be in a professional or managerial career at 33, but this was linked to a lower chance of going to university.So get your kids reading!