Books help us understand the world around us, learn about people and histories in a personal and in-depth way, and provide escape and joy when we need it most. However, reading isn’t just enjoyable as a hobby; it also provides long-term benefits for our brains. We’ve compiled a few researched reasons on why and how reading in every stage of life is good for your health. And if you’re looking for more proof, learn about how your brain benefits from reading, as explained by neuroscientist and author of The Love Hypothesis, Ali Hazelwood.
- Children who read are better able to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognize cause and effect, and utilize good judgment.
- A children’s book exposes children to 50% more words than watching a television show.
- Teens who read for fun are also better able to clarify their career goals and understand the consequences of risky behavior.
- In a study conducted by the University of Sussex, it was found that participants only need to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down their heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.
- Reading works better and faster than other methods to calm nerves.
- Books can promote empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence.
In Older Age
- Yale University professors found that book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines.
- Mentally challenging tasks such as reading help to maintain and build brain cells and connections between brain cells.
- A 20% reduction in mortality was observed for those who read books, compared to those who did not read books.
Next time you lose yourself in a book, rest assured you’re taking care of your health. And if you’re looking at where to start, find practical nonfiction to help you unplug or browse feel-good fiction to bring you comfort.