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Reading 123, a distributor of reading glasses, has found that 57% of stress suffers are not aware that simply reading a book can help to dramatically reduce their stress levels. The survey was undertaken as part of a study on the health benefits of reading and involved 413 adults living in the UK and currently suffering from high stress levels.
Nearly 10 years ago, in 2009, Dr David Lewis, a neuropsychologist at the University of Sussex undertook a survey that found reading can reduce stress by up to 68%, more than any other activity an individual can undertake in their free time. This is better than music and walking, which reduced stress by up to 61% and 42% respectively.
Paul Gibson, Managing Director of Reading 123, believes more should be done by the government and NHS to raise awareness of reading as a potential way to relieve stress. The NHS, who host a range of articles on their website to help reduce stress levels, does not mention reading, despite it only require approximately six minutes of the activity to make a positive impact on stress.
Dr Lewis, the person responsible for the 2009 study said: "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. It really doesn't matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author's imagination.
This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness."
Top 5 Activities for reducing stress
1. Reading a book
2. Listening to music
3. Drinking a cup of tea or coffee
5. Playing video games
Paul Gibson, Managing Director of Reading 123, had this: “I’ve spoken to respondents across the country who have had support from official sources and none of them have been recommended reading as a potential way to relieve stress. Reading is well-regarded as a way to escape from reality, so it makes perfect sense for it to help to reduce stress. My question to the NHS and government is why is it not being recommended?”
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