10 Proven Health Benefits of Books: Why Reading is Your Wellness Key

From stress reduction to cognitive protection, reading books offers an array of health benefits that are both surprising and scientifically proven. Start turning pages for a healthier you.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Books: Why Reading is Your Wellness Key

Tuesday December 19, 2023,

3 min Read

In a world filled with constant stimuli and technological distractions, finding solace in the pages of a good book can do wonders for your overall well-being. Scientific research has unearthed a myriad of health benefits associated with the simple act of reading. Here are ten compelling reasons why you should make reading a regular part of your routine:

1. Boosts Overall Happiness

Reading isn't just an escape; it's a pathway to happiness. Studies reveal that adults who devote a mere 30 minutes a week to reading experience a 20% increase in life satisfaction. An overwhelming 76% of surveyed adult readers credit books with enhancing their lives and fostering a sense of joy.

2. Reduces Stress Levels

The therapeutic power of books extends to stress reduction. Researchers at the University of Sussex discovered that just six minutes of reading can decrease stress levels by a remarkable 68%. This surpasses the stress-relieving effects of activities like playing video games or taking a walk.

3. Increases Emotional Intelligence

Delving into the pages of literary fiction is akin to an exercise for the mind. Scientific studies published in Science attest to the fact that reading enhances emotional intelligence, allowing individuals to better comprehend and relate to the emotions of others.

4. Increases Professional Opportunities

For the aspiring professional, reading can be a key to success. An Oxford University study tracking the reading habits of 17,000+ 16-year-olds found a correlation between extracurricular reading and achieving managerial positions later in life.

5. Improves Sleep Quality

Escape the digital glow before bedtime; instead, pick up a book. The Mayo Clinic recommends reading as a screen-free and calming pre-sleep ritual. Reading not only relaxes the mind but also induces better sleep quality.

6. Prevents Cognitive Decline

Engaging in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, can be a safeguard against cognitive decline. Research from Rush University Medical Center indicates that individuals who read are less likely to develop the plaques and lesions associated with dementia.

7. Increases Grades & Intelligence

For children, the benefits of reading extend to academic success. Exposure to books correlates with higher scores on both reading tests and general intelligence assessments.

8. Strengthens Your Brain

A small 2013 study found that reading a novel stimulates communication between different brain regions responsible for language processing. Additionally, reading fosters neurogenesis, the creation of new neurons in the brain.

9. Improves Communication Skills

Avid readers are endowed with a richer vocabulary and a wealth of knowledge, translating into superior communication skills. The ability to articulate thoughts clearly and compellingly is a natural byproduct of a well-read mind.

10. Can Help You Live Longer

Reading isn't just a pleasure for the moment; it may contribute to a longer life. A study tracking 3,635 adults over 12 years revealed that those who read books lived, on average, two years longer than non-readers.

Furthermore, individuals reading more than 3.5 hours per week had a 23% higher likelihood of a longer life.

In a fast-paced world, the habit of reading isn't just a leisurely pursuit—it's an investment in your health and happiness. So, the next time you reach for your phone, consider reaching for a book instead. Your mind and body will thank you.