Reading Reduces Stress More Than Music or Walking

    Researchers have found that reading reduces stress by 68%, more than listening to music or taking a walk.

    Some people love to read a good book, immersing themselves in an interesting story. Researchers have found that this may be the best remedy for stress.

    It's typical for people to listen to music or take a walk when stress arises, but researchers at the University of Sussex, UK, have found that bookworms may be better off in the stress management department.

    They carried out a study on a group of volunteers who had their stress levels and heart rate monitored through a series of tests and exercises, followed by variety of relaxation methods.

    They found that reading was the best stress-reliever, reducing stress by 68% after only 6 minutes of reading silently.

    Listening to music reduced stress levels by 61%. A cup of tea or coffee weighed in at 54%. Surprisingly, walking came in at 42% and playing video games brought stress levels down by only 21% from their highest peak.

    Dr Lewis, who headed the test, told the Telegraph: "Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation."

    "This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism.

    "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."

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