Did you ever wonder if reading could improve your health? Have you thought about reading as a daily habit? The scientific benefits of reading have been outlined for decades, and they are mostly positive.
Making reading a habit brings many advantages over time, even though some people may not think so. Furthermore, it can help us stay focused on our work and be more productive.
How does reading benefit the brain?
In this post, I’ll review some of the benefits of reading. Whether it’s staying on track of things at home or in the office, there are good reasons to make reading a hobby. More so, the scientific benefits lay out exceptional cases for people to make reading a regular hobby.
Improves concentration and focus
One of the biggest problems today is short attention spans. On average, it can be eight seconds or less of retention time.
In the internet age, we’re exposed to more visual components than ever. Ads, banners, graphs, and so forth can distract us and it’s hard to stay focused.
But reading a book can help improve concentration by doing regular practice. Our brain is looked at as a muscle; therefore, the more it is trained, the better it works. Without all of the distractions, something such as a physical book can help you remain concentrated.
Similar to other people, I’m somewhat distracted by ads and pictures when I’m on the internet. So it can be hard to read an online article when there are ads placed on a page.
In recent years, I’ve read more digital books and news articles, but I’ve gone back to physical books.
There’s a big difference when it comes to physical and digital books, so I feel a little more focused when reading a physical book.
Reduces stress for the long-term
Working long hours while not being productive can be very stressful. When that happens, physical and mental health levels, along with happiness will decrease.
According to one study done in the U.K. at the University of Sussex, the results found reading to reduce stress much faster (68% reduction) than other activities, including the following:
- Listening to music (61%)
- Having a cup of tea or coffee (51%)
- Going for a walk (41%)
- Playing video games (21%)
The question has been asked how reading can reduce stress more than other factors. While unwinding from other activities, researchers found it helps you shift your focus.
For example, reading a book can help us move away from easy distractions such as cell phones. By only taking five-six minutes a day for reading, it can significantly reduce your stress levels down the road.
Better analytical thinking skills
Reading can also help with problem-solving skills. If you’re a regular reader, you may not find it difficult when faced with common work problems.
That can be a weakness for some people when it comes to more challenging issues to overcome. But if you read often, it may be easier to think about ideas and solutions for more significant challenges.
Example of mystery-solving
If you’re a fan of mystery novels or movies, you know it involves some work to figure out the puzzle. Putting down all notes, or figuring out how one thing happened and so forth requires some critical thinking.
But if you’re used to mystery novels, you know how the patterns work. More so, it makes it easier to solve problems when you have more persuasive analytical skills.
Improves writing skills
One of the best parts of reading is getting exposed to other people’s writing. Especially when reading books by some of the best authors, it can be an eye-opener.
The more you read, the more you grow your vocabulary and incorporate new words into your language. It works similarly to aspiring musicians who look up to some of the best musicians in the world.
The more you read and study somebody else’s work, the better you’ll become in that field. It’s more in particular when it comes to writing.
How my writing skills have improved
Throughout the years, I’ve noticed my writing has drastically improved as a result of reading. I recall reading some books where I’ve discovered new words. Those were similar words I used in some articles I’ve written before, and it’s helped expand my vocabulary.
So I feel that my writing has gotten better as I grow my vocabulary. Instead of using vague terms, I’ll use less common words that people won’t refer to all the time.
There are a lot of things you need to remember when reading a book. It can be the plot, characters, backgrounds, history, and so forth.
So it’ll help keep your memories refreshed when you come back to the next chapter. Also, it’ll be less frustrating having to recall some details from a book you’ve read for some time.
How it helps me retain memory
When I read books, I know I’m given the challenge of remembering some of the details. Even recalling some of the small things can be important later on in a book.
If it’s a book I’m really into, I make sure not to put off reading the book. If I do, I’ll forget what happened and get frustrated with the memory loss.
Overall, there’s no doubt there are many benefits to reading books. Especially for the ones I listed out earlier, it can help you stay focused and remain productive at work.
These days, it’s much harder for people to read because of electronic distractions, or simply put, they have too many things to do. If you’re too busy and the fatigue grows, why bother with reading?
But choosing not to read regularly may result in a loss of small opportunities. Whether it’s new vocabulary, advanced writing skills, the benefits are far much better.
I’ve started to get in the habit of reading daily. Although it may be challenging at times, even a little time each day counts. Whether it’s 20 minutes or even six minutes, it’s still worthwhile to get a little reading every single day. Who knows if that’ll pay off in the long run, which it likely will.
Your Turn: Thoughts on how reading benefits you
What are your thoughts about reading in general? Are you willing to take on the challenge of reading daily?
Feel free to leave your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading them, and I’ll respond promptly.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.
8 thoughts on “The Scientific Benefits Of Reading: A Productivity Boost?”
This is a really interesting and informative article on reading books.
I am an old schooler and still read the old fashioned books you get from a book store or library, unlike my daughter who reads all her books on a Kindle!
As someone who works online I have found that my passion for reading books has also greatly improved my writing ability, which has been super beneficial.
Thanks for the great read.
Reading books the old fashion way is still a treasure for some people. There’s certainly value in reading a physical book rather than through a kindle (or another ebook format).
It’s true that reading can enhance your writing skills overtime. I can attest to that as I continue write regularly. So that one of the many benefits of reading.
It seems that it’s still important today no matter what. With these benefits mentioned, reading is something everyone should do to one extent to another.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts- they’re much appreciated.
I thoroughly enjoyed your article. When I was younger I used to read all the time. I still prefer physical books. There is just something about touching the paper and highlighting the good parts of the story or a quote for reference.
I know that in my experience reading relaxes me. It allows me to escape the bad parts of the day and I believe it increases my imagination and creativity.
I was wondering though if reading a magazine is just as beneficial as reading a book. And, does listening to an audiobook provide the same benefits? I listen to audiobooks as I drive. (just about every single day) Sometimes it’s an educational audiobook and sometimes it’s an audiobook for pure enjoyment.
I am surprised to learn that reading decreases stress more than a walk. Thanks for the info.
Loved this so much.
The idea of reading a physical book (and holding it) is a great feeling. That’s what I love about the old-fashion way of reading before the internet came along.
Reading is a great way for people to relax, while still being a mental exercise as well. So it’s beneficial in both ways.
Regarding your questions, reading magazines can help as well. If it’s related to education or science in that manner, then it can be looked at a similar way to reading books.
Although listening to an audiobook might not be the same, it’s still a good way to save time. For some people, reading is not their cup of tea; therefore, they may stick to listening to audiobooks instead.
Especially if people are short on time, listening to an audiobook (while doing chores or driving) is a great way to spend time while doing those tasks. Considering the fact that driving can be “dead time”, why not listen to an audiobook? So some people prefer to have that option.
I agree with you on the fact that reading can reduce stress (more than walking!). So it’s amazing that people don’t prioritize reading more than other tasks. But that’s where we’re at in the world today.
These were excellent thoughts that you provided. I think they’re valuable to our readers, and I learned a lot from your insights.
Thank you very much for sharing your feedback- it’s very much appreciated.
I love to read, and I am always searching for the benefits of doing different things and eating certain foods. This article explains why I am feeling smarter than I did a year ago. I have been reading more over the past year and have definitely seen improvements in these areas. I do read daily and I want to work on a weekly goal of reading as well, like reading one book a week or so. Thanks for this great read.
Making reading a goal to accomplish over time is a great idea. I think getting in the habit of reading is important, and results in the benefits that were mentioned in this post.
That is a great step moving forward with wanting to read one book a week. I think that’s a big stretch for me to read one book a week. I tend to go slow and maybe take up a full month to read a book. But that’s something that may change down the road- for me to take on that challenge.
I’m glad to hear you’re taking up this challenge to make reading a regular activity. It’s something that more people should take upon, and you’re certainly one of them.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts- much appreciated.
This was very nice to read I must say, looking at the benefits of reading in here felt really nice. This article was top notch and I learnt so much I must confess. Thank you so much for sharing this educative and enlightening article, I even had to save this for a reread later on and I’ll also share this with my family as well
Understanding the benefits of reading is refreshing to learn about. I have to say there were things I did not know before researching this topic.
Yes, this post is intended to be educational and help others understand why reading is an important activity. If more people took the initiative to read, I think it would greatly benefit society as a whole.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I’m glad you enjoyed understanding this topic more in-depth. Take care and please visit back here soon.