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Sunrise Senior Living Blog

Sunrise Senior Living Blog

Study: Older People Read Tablets Faster Than Books

Older people can read faster on tablets as opposed to paper books, according to a recent study. Some people prefer reading from the traditional, paper book over electronic books, but according to a recent study, it may be easier to read electronically.

In fact, older people actually benefit from reading from a tablet, according to researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany.

"There is a widely-held belief that it is more difficult to read from a digital device and that people retain less of what they read in this case," reported Dr. Franziska Kretzschmar of the Department of English and Linguistics at Mainz University. "Our study has shown that older people can actually read better from tablet PCs, likely because of the higher visual contrast."

The study

The researchers gathered 56 test participants from various age groups and monitored their reading performance based on both tablets and traditional books.

After reading, the participants — of both the younger and older generations — stated that reading on paper was more enjoyable, and claimed it was easier as well. However, after the researchers reviewed the results, this claim did not correlate after examining the recordings which showed the eye movements, and the data that displayed brain wave patterns.

In fact, participants aged between 66 and 77 years old were reading at faster speeds with less brain activity when they read from a tablet as opposed to a paper book.

The researchers stated that this may be because of the contrast that is provided by the lighting of the background on the tablet, which makes recognising words and letters easier.

The results

The results of the older people were not correlated with the other age group, as they showed no difference in the ease of reading one version over the other.

In the end, both groups still agreed that they preferred the paper version over the digital version.

The researchers believe that the findings of this study demonstrated that preferring one version of a book over the other does not indicate how fast or how well one can read a book.

At Sunrise Senior Living, our residents can enjoy a wide variety of leisure activities - such as reading - and are encouraged to do so by a programme of at least five activities to choose from every day. For more information, contact us today. 

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