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26th October 2014

Just six minutes a day can keep stress levels at bay

Manchester libraries have launched the ‘Just Six Minutes’ campaign following news from researchers at Mindlab International that reading just six minutes a day can significantly reduce stress levels

A new campaign called ‘Just Six Minutes’ has launched in partnership with Manchester Libraries encouraging people to read more. The campaign has been inspired by World Mental Health Day which was held on Friday 10th October, although the campaign itself will continue throughout the semester until January 26th next year.

A team of researchers at Mindlab International in Sussex, a company which focuses on consumer shopping decisions, have discovered that as little as six minutes of reading a day can notably reduce your stress levels.

The study, led by Dr. David Lewis, found that reading a good book for just several minutes after a long day relaxes people more than listening to soothing music. The ‘Time to Read’ organization is backing this campaign to get more people reading.

Along with the campaign, ‘Books on Prescription’ are available at all Manchester City libraries. Nearly 12000 of these books, which highlight therapies for mild to moderate mental health issues, have been borrowed since June 2013.

Executive member for culture and leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle gave her approval to the campaign: “This research confirms what many booklovers already know—that reading really does have a vital role in helping to reduce stress and improve mental health.”

Despite the shared student loathing of the hours on PubMed and JSTOR needed to get course reading finished and essay deadlines met, the campaign is now providing students with one more reason to rekindle their joy for reading.

However, anticipating that students might struggle enough finding time to read, never mind looking for a good book, Dr. David Lewis, who is leading the study, has recommended using the website for those uncertain of where to begin.

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