Did you know that reading can can help keep you healthy? We all know the power of reading a great book can change your day, but it can also help to improve both mental and physical health!

  • Reading can reduce your stress! A 2009 study performed by the University of Sussex concluded that reading (for pleasure) for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels up to 68%!
  • Reading can improve your memory! We all know that reading helps us gain knowledge, but people who read can retain more information. People who read regularly are also 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s according to the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Working out? Reading can help you stay focused! People who read while using workout machines tend to be able to work out longer than people who are watching TV or listening to music. We know how it is when you have to reach the end of just one more chapter!
  • Reading can improve your empathy! A study at York University states that reading novels helps you identify with the lives of characters, and therefore helps you be empathetic with people in the real world.
  • Reading can help you heal! Ever hear of Bibliotherapy? Bibliotherapy involves the reading of specific texts with the purpose of mental healing.
  • Reading can help you live longer! According to the Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide, reading creates new connections between nerve cells keeping your brain younger longer! Belonging to a book club helps keep up social connections which helps with having a good support system and a general better quality of life.

Have we forgotten anything? How do you use reading to keep in shape, mentally and physically?

Emma DeLooze-Klein is the Director of Adult & Community Services at the Kirkwood Public Library. She moved to St. Louis in 2012 and has since enjoyed exploring and photographing area attractions. You can find gothic mysteries, historical fiction, as well as a spread of other genres in her constantly growing to-be-read pile.