We knew that right? No matter what age you are, it seems that both young, old, and everyone in between are getting more and more addicted to their screens. Computers, televisions, tablets, and phones, if used excessively, can damage your eyes and your overall health AND they are detrimental to the quality of your much needed sleep.
Reading on the other hand is a healthy activity! Reading physical books, or ebooks via an eReader (Kindle, Kobo, etc.) with e-ink technology is good for your physical well being.
Abigail Fagan has listed six scientific reasons you should be picking up more books:
- Reading reduces stress. Reading a book or newspaper for just six minutes lowered people’s stress levels by 68 %—a stronger effect than going for a walk (42 %), drinking a cup of tea or coffee (54 %), or listening to music (61 %).
- Reading can lengthen your life span. A team at Yale University followed more than 3600 adults over the age of 50 for 12 years. They discovered that people who reported reading books for 30 minutes a day lived nearly two years longer than those who don’t. Hey maybe I’ll have time to finish my TBR.
- Reading improves your language skills and general world knowledge. Avid readers, as measured by the Author Recognition Test, had around a 50% larger vocabulary and 50% more fact-based knowledge.
- Reading enhances empathy. Across five experiments, those who read literary fiction performed better on tasks like predicting how characters would act and identifying the emotion encoded in facial expressions. These speak to the ability to understand others’ mental states, which scientists call Theory of Mind.
- Reading boosts creativity and flexibility. “When we read fiction, we practice keeping our minds open because we can afford uncertainty.” Maja Djikic conducted a study in which she determined that fiction readers are more flexible and creative than essay readers—and the effect was strongest for people who read on a regular basis.
- Reading can help you transform as a person. Fiction readers see themselves differently after reading about others’ fictional experience. Nonfiction readers don’t undergo this shift in self-reflection.