5 reasons to make more time for reading

Reading StockHow much time do you spend reading on a given day? If you’re like many Americans, not a lot. On average, American adults spend less than 18 minutes a day reading, according to a recent survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you don’t remember the last time you binged on a good book instead of Netflix, here are just 5 of the many reasons to fit more reading into your schedule.

1. It’s fun.

As anyone who’s ever gotten lost in a good storyline can attest, reading is a great way to take a break from daily responsibilities and stressors.

2. It relieves stress.

Speaking of stress, researchers have found that spending as little as 6 minutes reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent, dropping both blood pressure and heart rate.

3. It can protect your brain as you age.

Not only does reading help improve your memory, but scientists have shown that reading may actually help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

4. It makes meeting people easier.

If you ever find yourself stuck coming up with an icebreaker when you first meet someone, books can be great conversation starters. Whether you’re discussing a recent popular novel or an interesting theme in a book you’ve read, reading offers a reliable way to relate to the people around you.

5. It can introduce you to new places, cultures, and ideas.

Julius Caesar said, “Experience is the teacher of all things,” but reading may be the next best thing. In fact, researchers have shown similarities in how our brains process reading about an experience and actually experiencing something in real life. Reading lets you mentally experience things that life circumstances – finances, work and family responsibilities, or even poor health – may keep you from experiencing in real life.

Reading really is a gift that keeps on giving. Literacy in general is vital for functioning well in society and building a stable life, often necessary for everything from applying for a job to registering at a doctor’s office. Beyond the practical aspects, though, reading has the potential to enrich and improve your life in countless ways. 

Learn more about how United Way of Williamson County helps promote literacy for both children and adults.

Sep 5, 2017 | Education

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