If you are like me and are required to attend many lectures and classes, reading books is a low stress way to keep sharp. Researchers found that less than 50% of the population will read a book after graduating college or high school. Of those, only 25% will finish a book. That means only about 12% of the population will finish a book this year.
No wonder TV is at an all-time high.
These same researchers found brain activity in toddlers, children, teens, young adults, middle aged adults, and elderly directly correlate to TV viewing. They found the more TV watched, the lower the brain function and the increased chances of dementia. TV really is dumbing you down.
While no formal study has been done on reading, side notes of several research papers found 30 minutes to 1 hour of reading per day is enough to throw off readings for dementia. A Rush University Medical Center study found lifelong readers had significantly less damage in their brains than non-readers, although they did not quantify ‘significantly’.
It doesn’t matter what you read as long as it stimulates the brain. Books can be about history, religion, fantasy, or even gardening.
One Presbyterian Church in PA began an outreach to help mentally disabled children and the elderly. They paired one disabled child with one elderly person with dementia. They were given books to read to each other. While no accurate measurements were conducted, aids and nurses noted behavior, memory function, and recall improved in all the participants. Reading works wonders!