7 Science-Backed Ways Reading Makes You Healthy
From Global English Editing, a guest post from Sierra Delarosa.
I love it when science confirms what I already suspect: that reading is really good for you! If you’re also an avid reader, you already know how it feels to lose yourself in a book. It’s the perfect way to learn something new over breakfast, relax on a rainy afternoon, take a virtual vacation somewhere new, and unwind in the evening.
It’s always nice to see confirmation that reading truly does confer health benefits. The below infographic rounds up some of these benefits so you can see at a glance how reading enhances your life.
For starters, readers tend to live longer! One recent study examined the possible connection between reading habits and longevity. Researchers found that people who spent 3.5 hours or more reading per week lowered their mortality risk substantially over the long-term compared to people who did not read at all. Even reading just occasionally (under 3.5 hours per week) corresponded to lowered mortality.
There are a few possible reasons for this phenomenon. First, books engage the brain. Reading a novel may seem relaxing, but your brain is hard at work memorizing character names and relevant details, following sub-plots, and forging connections with other books or with the outside world. Books are more effective than newspapers and magazines when it comes to stimulating the mind; they’re often longer and more complex, demanding full attention and “deep reading.” Cultivating a lifelong reading habit will keep your mind active and ward off mental decline.
In addition, deep reading encourages you to dive fully into another world, imagining yourself into other characters, feeling their emotions, and reacting to their struggles. Because of this, reading helps us understand the world better. It fosters empathy, boosts emotional intelligence, and strengthens social connections. Stronger relationships, in turn, are linked to increased longevity. If you’re looking for a hobby that will help you build your social network, you could do a lot worse than reading! And if you’re a super-social bookworm, you can always start a book club.
So if, you already love reading, keep it up and keep reaping the rewards. If you read only rarely, consider adding a few books to your regular routine. Need more convincing? Check out the infographic below from Global English Editing for seven science-backed ways reading makes you healthier.
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