Here’s Why Reading Is One Of The Healthiest Things You Can Do For Yourself

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Reading is one of the Healthiest Things
People are more health conscious these days than they have ever been. It seems everywhere you look there is some miracle treatment for anything that might ail you in life. In reality, one of the best things you can do to boost your health is simply reading a book.
In 2009, Mindlab International, a consultancy based at the University of Sussex, determined that reading was the most effective form of stress relief when compared to typical stress relief methods. The study was done by putting participants through a range of tests and exercises to increase stress levels and heart rate. Then the participants engaged in typical stress relief activities like listening to music, walking, playing video games, and reading.

The results showed that reading for just 6 minutes reduced stress levels by an average of 68%. In fact, in most cases, stress levels were lower than what they were before the test began. By comparison, listening to music reduced stress levels by 61% taking a walk reduced stress by 42%, and playing video games reduced stress by 21%.

Dr. David Lewis, who conducted the study, concluded: “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism.It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.This is more than merely a distraction, but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.”

One major thing to keep in mind when it comes to reading is not just THAT you read, but HOW you read. Research has shown that reading a tablet before bed can actually lead to an increase in the symptoms of insomnia. Reading an actual, printed, physical book is the key. A recent study in Norway showed that people who read on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering what they read over people who read printed text. Anne Mangen of Stavanger University, concluded that “the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does.”

Mangen thinks that the difference for Kindle readers “might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading.” Her theory is based on the fact that our brains weren’t really designed for reading, but have adapted to understand letters and text.


3 Responses to “Here’s Why Reading Is One Of The Healthiest Things You Can Do For Yourself”

  1. freebornman says:

    Apart from the fact that you are indulging in the enjoyment of one of the finest peaks of humanity, you might actually learn something. If you read the right books.
    A good author allows one to visualise unknown worlds, almost to be there, in the midst of the action.
    The chosen ones hold large libraries in their places of worship, and many interesting facts can be derived therefrom. Like the population numbers of said chosen ones pre- and post WW2 in Europe. The six million drop seems to be absent from the ‘Encyclopedia Judeaica’. See David Duke on that one.
    Also, worthy of consideration, is ‘The Bible Code’ by M Drosnin. The torah scroll, comprising the first five books of the OT, is sacrosanct, not to be altered by even one character. To anyone who read ‘TBC’, I would welcome opinion.

  2. Dogman says:

    A great many studies have documented declining literacy rates over the last thirty years. TV viewing is an easier and preferred activity compared to the challenge of book reading, especially for children who have not yet developed fluent reading skills. TV requires little concentration, de-focuses the mind, offers electronically produced images, and encourages passivity, while reading necessitates concentration, thought, focusing, and the ability to visualize. Television trains short attention spans, while reading trains long attention spans. Studies suggest that light viewers learn to read more easily than heavy viewers. Research into brain wave patterns confirm these differences.

  3. Dogman says:

    According to Daniel Reid, writing in the Tao of Health Sex and Longevity, the rays from a TV flicker erratically, causing uneven and irregular stimulation of the retina. “This choppy stimulus is transferred directly into the brain via the optic nerve, which in turn irritates the hypothalamus. In scientific experiments conducted in the US but ignored by both the government and the television industry, rats exposed to colour TV for six hours a day became hyperactive and extremely aggressive for about a week. Thereafter they suddenly became totally lethargic and stopped breeding entirely.” In effect their endocrine systems had been ‘burnt out;’ equally significant was the fact that during the experiment the TV screens were kept covered in thick black paper so that only the invisible rays came through. Thus the damage was done, not by the visible rays, but by the invisible radiation.

    “I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go into another room and read a good book.” – Groucho Marx

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