It has been proved that reading will boost your health and well-being!
Health is determined by several factors including genetic inheritance, personal behaviors, access to quality health care, and the general external environment (such as the quality of air, water, and housing conditions). A growing body of research part of the broader branch of the epidemiology, has documented associations between social and cultural factors and health. Public health epidemiology aims at scientific descriptions of relationships between life conditions and public health in different groups of people.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows that taking an active part in creative activities like visual art, music-making or writing, supervised by an art therapist or a cultural professional, have a measurable impact on physical and mental well-being. There is also a lot of evidence that the quality of people’s immediate environment makes a difference to how quickly they recover from an illness. This dates back to Roger Ulrich’s 1984 study, which showed that men in hospital recovered from an operation much more quickly if their ward window overlooked a grove of trees rather than a brick wall.
Although the mechanisms are still not completely known and a lot of research is still to happen, it is clear that having an active cultural life is linked with longevity. There are theories in several sciences regarding the possible mechanisms of this phenomenon but what it is important to us is that no matter what the mechanisms are, if we read more, we increase our chances of a longer life. Are you ready to dive into the magical world of reading but need more convincing? Keep reading and see the following examples on how reading improves your health, productivity, and well-being.
- Reading stimulates your brain
Human’s brain is like a muscle – it gets stronger and better with exercise and by reading, you will keep your brain active. Aside from this, reading books can also improve your memory and prevent mental illnesses such as Alzheimer or dementia.
- Reading makes you smarter
No matter how intelligent you think you are, reading can always make you smarter as books are a wonderful source of advices, stories, and information.
- Reading will boost your empathy
Reading books that simulate real-life situations, will ‘force’ the reader to put themselves in the characters’ skin and find a solution for their problems possibly sympathizing with them. This leads to improving the reader’s empathy and makes them better at handling similar situations in his real life.
- Reading makes you a better writer
For those who want to start a writing career, reading is a must because an excellent and successful writer also represents a former passionate reader. According to researchers, those who read more are able to express themselves better than those who don’t because each book presents you a different writing styles and a variety of words and sentences to choose from. The more we read – the more our vocabulary expands and allows us to express ourselves with using the right words. Having an expanded vocabulary and being able to express yourself no matter the situation can benefit many professions.
- Reading will improve your focus
Aside from exercising your brain and improving your memory, reading will also sharpen your focus. Are you one of those people who find it hard to decide on one thing at a time? Reading will solve that problem with ‘forcing’ you to focus on the words in order to understand the story. By doing this you will learn how to dedicate on one activity at a time and let the rest of the world fade away while you focus on what’s important to you.
- Reading will help people who suffer from insomnia
Book lovers never go to bed alone because they have their ritual to fall asleep after reading a book. By doing this, you will be able to fall asleep faster and the quality of your sleep will improve as well. When you read in bed at night, your body signals the brain to slowly falling asleep – it’s like telling yourself a good night story.
- Reading may enhance your social skills
Although readers are often seen as loners who intend to escape the reality more often than they’re present in it, book lovers are in fact more sociable than people who don’t read. Aside from the fact that they can express themselves better and clearly declare their attitude on different subjects, they can also easily understand other people’s needs, beliefs or perceptions. Readers are often good listeners and they can act like psychiatrists sometimes, however, they’re always here for those who need help or advice and that’s why most people enjoy their company. Although readers are always welcome to join others for a drink or conversation, they prefer spending their time alone thinking about their present and future, working on themselves or relaxing in their own company. Unlike others who don’t despise solitude – readers love it because it allows them to spend some time with their favourite book.
- Reading improves your imagination
Words are the essential feature of every book and thanks to them, every reader can experience each story differently by turning sentences into moving pictures. This is also the reason why you keep hearing that the book is always better than the movie. People expect to watch the movie they created in their heads while reading the book and what they see on canvas often betrays their expectations. However, this has a positive effect on our brain because it boosts our creativity and improves our imagination. Readers always come up with creative ideas and solutions. Reading books will make you see problems from different perspectives and help you solve on a fast and smart way.
7 Interesting facts about reading
- Women remain as more passionate readers than men
- Readers across the world spend around 6.5 hours a week reading
- Readers are three times more as likely to attend cultural events, visit museums and galleries or create their own art unlike those who don’t read
- ‘Bibliomania’ – a word that describes the enjoyment of the smell of old books
- A man who reads appears to be more attractive to women than the man who’s got no interest in books
- Reading will never make your neighbors complain that your book is too loud
- Reading from a screen remains as 10% slower, than reading from paper
After describing the benefits of reading, it is now clear that there’s an unbreakable bond between health and literacy. According to researchers, people without reading habits are likely to be less healthy and susceptible to illnesses than book lovers. Literacy skills are always important for a person who wants to keep his mind and body in good shape. And when a person is in good shape, his well-being also improves indisputably. Still having doubts when it comes to reading? We encourage you to take a look at the website and chose a story, the shortest one is only a 10 minutes reading! Who knows, maybe reading will become your favorite hobby in future.
Cohen GD, Perlstein S, Chapline J, Kelly J, Firth KM & Simmens S (2006) The impact of professionally conducted cultural programs on the physical health, mental health, and social functioning of older adults. The Gerontologist 46 (6) 726–734.
O’Neill M, ‘Cultural attendance and public mental health – from research to practice’, Journal of Public Mental Health 9/4December (2010), 22–29.
Oster I, Svensk AC, Magnusson E, Thyme KE, Sjõdin M, Aström S & Lindh J (2006) Art therapy improves coping resources: a randomized, controlled study among women with breast cancer. Palliative Support Care 4 (1) 57–64.
Ulrich RS (1984) View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 224 (4647) 420–421.
Windsor J (2005) A Study of the Association between Arts Engagement and Health. Abingdon: Arts Council of England.