Scientific research has shown that reading impacts a person’s prospects and health throughout the course of their entire life. We have read 19 scientific papers to pull together 34 stats outlining the benefits of reading.
Top benefits of reading
- Readers have been shown to perform better on reasoning and logic tests than non-readers
- People are 23% more likely to live longer if they read for more than 210 minutes a week compared to those who don’t read at all.
- Retirees who read books were shown to survive approximately 2 years longer on average than those who don’t read books.
Benefits of reading for children and students
- Reading more often changes the structure of the brain in a way that allows children to develop at a faster rate.
- Reading fiction and novels can allow children to better understand the emotions, feelings, and beliefs of others and improve skills that are crucial for successful relationships
- Reading level at 4th grade is an indicator of future success, reading at a young age can ensure your child doesn’t get left behind.
- Reading consistently at a young age has been shown to increase vocabulary which in turn is an indicator of success in areas such as test scores, getting into college and being offered more lucrative jobs.
- Reading aloud to children has been shown to give kids the reading bug to the point where they will read regularly as adults.
- Students who read for pleasure have been shown to have significantly stronger language skills
- Kids are 4 times less likely to graduate if they can’t read at grade level by third grade
- For young children, reading at home, reading aloud with parents and others or simply having books available are the best signifiers of reading ability further down the line.
- Imagination, understanding, and mental imagery is improved by parents reading out loud to their children
- Babies who are read aloud to recognize more words than those who are not read to.
- Taking screens away and introducing reading aids the ability of children under the age of 5 to learn.
- Reading to a child can increase their IQ by up to 6 points
Benefits of reading for Seniors and the elderly
- Reading is recommended by The National Institute on Aging because it can lower the risks of cognitive decline related to Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- It’s believed reading stimulates the brain to offset negative changes in the brain related to age
- Seniors who read every day during a study saw their cognitive functions improve over a 6 month period.
- People who read throughout their lives are less likely to develop the physical ailments found on the brains of people with dementia.
- Septuagenarians who read from ages 20-60 developed Alzheimer’s at lower rates.
- Reading builds neural connections slowing down Alzheimer’s disease and slowing the onset of symptoms
- The University Of Oregon has shown that reading helps to learn new words that would never have been learned otherwise.
- In turn, further research has proven that a larger vocabulary is linked to slower mental decline
- Reading throughout their entire lives was shown to slow the rate of mental decline by a third.
Benefits of reading for mental health
- 30 minutes of reading reduces negative feelings, blood pressure, and heart rate as effectively as yoga
- Another study found reading for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by 67%
- Reading a print book can encourage a good night’s sleep by removing the light emission associated with devices such as phones, tablets, and e-readers.
- Such a routine can signal to the brain that it’s time to fall asleep resulting in better sleep.
- Self-help books can measurably improve the condition of people with depression and anxiety
- Reading self help books can people understand emotions and issues to such an extent that the UK’s NHS prescribes books to patients.
- Readers are more likely to take time to consider a situation before reacting and are better positioned to process major, unexpected events, therefore, reducing anxiety.
Benefits of reading fiction
- Reading novels increases brain activity and continues to do so as the plot builds to a climax
- Increased stimulation of the brain was recorded for days even after subjects finished the novel
- Reading stories strengthen language processing regions of the brain