GALAXY® Chocolate and Charity Quick Reads Reveal Research Showing 30 Minutes Reading a Week Can Improve Lives
Reading on a regular basis linked to increased wellbeing and empathy, yet still people struggle to find time to pick up a book
Research released in the UK has revealed that those who read for just 30 minutes per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives. Commissioned by GALAXY® chocolate on behalf of Quick Reads, a charity that produces short books by well-known authors for busy people and less confident readers, the report reveals the fundamental benefits that reading for pleasure can have on the nation’s overall health and wellbeing.
Produced in partnership with Dr. Josie Billington at The University of Liverpool, UK, GALAXY® found that readers are 21% less likely to report feelings of depression and 10% more likely to report good self-esteem versus non-readers, equipping them with a greater ability to cope with everyday life. As many as 42% of the UK’s 16 million lapsed readers cited lack of time as their biggest reason for not picking up a book. Of further concern still was the finding that 1.2 million UK adults have stopped reading as a result of some form of depression. Conversely, the report goes on to show that readers are less likely to experience low mood or feelings of depression if they read for as little as 30 minutes a week.
The research was commissioned as the 2015 GALAXY® Quick Reads’ titles are released. This year’s bite-sized books are written by a range of leading authors including Jojo Moyes and Booker Prize winner, Roddy Doyle.
One of the greatest benefits of being a reader was shown in the analysis around empathy. With just 30 minutes of reading a week, as many as two thirds of readers (64%) reported a better understanding of other people’s feelings versus less than half (48%) of non-readers. With one in three adults in the UK not reading for pleasure, GALAXY® and Quick Reads are calling upon lapsed and non-readers to consider the wider health and wellbeing benefits of picking up a book and starting to read today. Further compelling benefits to reading revealed in the study were:
- 43% of readers said reading helped them get a better night’s sleep
- 19% of readers said reading stopped them feeling lonely
- Regular readers reported 57% greater cultural awareness and 21% more general knowledge
- Readers reported higher levels of creativity (48%) than non-readers (38%)
- Readers were found to be 27% better able to make time for their friends, perhaps as they were 10% more capable of planning and prioritizing
Dr. Josie Billington from the Centre for Research into Reading, Literature and Society at The University of Liverpool said: “Whilst the cumulative societal benefits of reading have been widely acknowledged, it’s important also to recognize the gains to be had from reading on our personal health and wellbeing.”
Cathy Rentzenbrink from Quick Reads said: “I have always found reading to be a great source of comfort and this research confirms what I have long witnessed professionally: reading can help any one of us to be healthier, happier and ultimately to get more out of life.”
Emma Thornton, GALAXY® Marketing Director, said: “We are proud to be supporting Quick Reads for the fifth year running and hope that this research will encourage more people to discover the pleasure and benefits of reading. Reading has always been important to us and we recognize the pleasure that can be gained by losing yourself in a great book – especially when enjoyed with a bar of Galaxy!”
Six news books have been added to the growing GALAXY® Quick Reads series, each aimed at helping adults across the UK rediscover the pleasure of reading. Further support and resources for adults in the UK who have difficulty with literacy can be found on the Quick Reads website.
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In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
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