The average American watches more than five hours of television every day. By age 65, most of us will have spent nine years in front of our television sets. That’s right — nine years.
Too much television
Interestingly, our TV watching habits have increased right alongside our work hours. We all know the feeling. You’ve been at work for what seems like ages. You come home and the idea of doing anything just feels like too much. How tempting is it to plop in front of the television and watch a story unfold before your eyes? Watching TV sends our brain into a state of mind similar to sleep. Beta waves on our brain — which are associated with alertness and attention— are replaced with alpha waves, representing an unfocused, inattentive state. It’s like sleeping through life without the benefits of actual sleep.
Reading can offer the same relaxing, enjoyable experience as watching television, but our brains are active participants. Language skills, creativity and critical thinking are only a few of the benefits to reading. Here are five reasons to read instead of watching TV.
1. TV viewers have more anxiety and less life satisfaction.
2. Reading is mentally stimulating and even makes you smarter.
3. Reading expands your vocabulary and improves your writing skills.
4. Reading improves focus and concentration.
5. Your habits influence the people around you.
— Erin Wildermuth