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Reading – sources, health benefits at

Friday, December 15, 2017 by

Reading is defined as the process of looking at a series of written symbols, such as letters, punctuation marks and spaces, and extracting meaning from them. People read with the use of their eyes to receive written symbols and then process it in the brain to convert them into words, sentences and paragraphs that communicate something. Reading can be done silently or in the head, or aloud so that others can hear. It is a receptive skill in which information is received. However, the complex process of reading also requires the skill of speaking, in order to pronounce the words read. Therefore, reading is also a productive skill because through this, information can be received and then transmitted, even if only to oneself.

Health benefits of reading

There are a lot of benefits that reading can provide. One of these is that it strengthens the brain. It brings existing neural pathways in the brain to life, while reading a complex poetry helps the brain remain elastic and active. Reading frequently also decreases brain degeneration for the elderly by 32 percent. Older people who regularly played mentally challenging games or read books were two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. New memory in the brain means that new synapses are being created, while the existing brain synapses are being strengthened. Thus, the short-term memory and recall capabilities of the brain improve. Reading can also help people who suffer from mental illnesses, such as depression. A study showed that depressed patients in the mental health ward exhibited positive improvement when they read stories aloud. They reported feeling better and optimistic. Moreover, self-help books benefit people with severe depression and reduce stress by about 68 percent. Reading is also beneficial for children. Children who read are better able to understand abstract concepts, apply logic in different situations, recognize cause and effect, and use good judgment. Previous studies also show that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do good in all aspects of formal education. Reading also motivates people to do something that they’ve read.

According to an article by, reading books may prolong life. A study found that book readers had a 20 percent decreased risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up compared to those who only read magazines or newspapers. Moreover, making reading every night before bed time a habit can increase the chance of getting a better sleep. Reading also improve verbal, conversational, and written skills.

Body systems supported by reading

The main body system that reading supports is the nervous system as it improves brain functions, such as memory and cognitive skills. It also improves mental health and reduces the risk of mental illnesses.

Where to learn more


Reading is the process of looking at a series of written symbols, such as letters, punctuation marks and spaces, and extracting meaning from them.

Reading is beneficial for older people as it decreases brain degeneration for the elderly by 32 percent and prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Reading reduces stress and prevents depression.

Reading enhances memory and improves mood.

Reading may help prolong life.

Reading improves sleep.


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