Benefits of Reading and Writing

Science Shows Something Surprising about People Who Love to Write
15 September 2014 — Rachel Grate

Interesting article about the benefits of writing: “no matter the quality of your writing, the act of writing itself leads to strong physical and mental health benefits …” and surveys a variety of academic studies. The most consistent finding seems to be about cognitive processing, creating a narrative which makes sense of experiences. The article refers to blogging — “even blogging” — towards the end, with a link to an article about blogging as self-medication.

I have been thinking about introducing blogging into one of the programmes we run at work for people with long-term health conditions (diabetes and cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, cancer, arthritis and pain-related conditions, mental health problems). I was thinking about it as a way of building a community, and social engagement, which has health benefits in itself, but this article suggests there are other health benefits simply in the act of (expressive) writing. Also of note were comments about writing/blogging and improved sleep.

Reminds me of another article about the benefits of reading, and how reading transforms us. The article refers to books, or long-form writing, but I wonder whether it also applies to reading blogs?
How Reading Transforms Us
19 December 2014 — Keith Oatley, Maja Djikic

We also have an activity locally where people drop in to libraries to listen to stories being read aloud — also demonstrated to have health benefits. Based on a model developed by Liverpool University.

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