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Save your sanity in just 6 minutes

Press release   •   Oct 01, 2014 08:00 BST

Rochdale Borough Library Service is all set to launch the Time to Read ‘Just 6 Minutes’ campaign, in order to help improve residents’ mental health and wellbeing.

Respected local poet and literature consultant Anne Caldwell will talk about the health benefits of reading and officially launch ‘Just 6 Minutes’, from 12:15 – 12:45 on Saturday 11 October, as part of a programme of events on the Butts promoting World Mental Health Day, which is celebrated the day before. Her talk is free, there’s no need to book and all are welcome.

The campaign follows research conducted by Mindlab International which revealed that just six minutes absorbed reading has a remarkable impact on an individual’s stress levels.  When it comes to unwinding physically and mentally, a good read is more effective than listening to a favourite piece of music, playing a video game or even going for a walk.

Dr David Lewis, Leader of the Research at Mindlab International, said:

“It doesn’t really matter what book you read. By losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world.”

Mindlab conducted an experiment in which the stress busting power of the book was tested against other ways of winding down. After just six minutes of quiet reading stress levels fell by almost 70 per cent, heart rates slowed and tense muscles relaxed.  Second most effective was listening to music and drinking tea.

Lowering stress levels has been proven to have a beneficial impact on our physical and mental health.

Anne Caldwell who is presenting the talk, is an esteemed poet, literature development consultant and teacher. She is the Programme Director for the National Association for Writers and Education, and lectures in creative writing at the University of Bolton. She was also a founding member of Time to Read, the North West Reader Network for Libraries and has had a long and productive association with libraries and reader development. 

Linda Fisher, Acting Chief Executive:

“Our mental wellbeing is something that we often take for granted, so it’s pleasing that the borough’s libraries are promoting the ‘Just 6 Minutes’ campaign.

“I encourage all residents to take part, we can all find a spare six minutes to read something of interest, especially if it has a positive impact on our mental health.”

Libraries across the borough will be promoting ‘Just 6 Minutes’ through a poster campaign and book displays. There will be reading recommendations in the libraries and on Time To Read’s website

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