Do you enjoy learning, escaping or dreaming while reading? Have you ever wondered about the benefits you get when you read often?

Scientific studies have highlighted the following quality of life benefits of reading:

  1. Optimizes brain connections
  2. Increases your vocabulary and your ability to understand information
  3. Enables you to be more empathetic to others
  4. Helps you prepare for sleep
  5. Reduces stress
  6. Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
  7. Combats symptoms of depression
  8. Prevents cognitive decline as you age
  9. Helps you live longer

Now you might ask: Is there a way to optimize reading to get the most of these benefits?

The answer is a resounding ‘Yes‘: It is possible to learn to read more and better, with greater comfort, enjoyment and assimilation, while taking care of your eyes and vision.

Today we want to share with you some ways to achieve this. These practices are found—among many others—within the Better Vision Through Reading course. You can find out more about this course here.

You will also find our suggested materials for these practices. We chose Amazon as a provider because of their wide availability of products and the possibility to have them all in one place.

Introduction: How to Assess Your Progression

When you practice Natural Vision Improvement exercises and techniques, you will perceive many subjective improvements—which are very important—and you will also be able to measure objective achievements.

You will find out below how to measure your vision acuity with Snellen charts and assess your visual field extent with a measuring tape.

Do this at the beginning and at the end of your practice period and then compare before-and-after measures. Always celebrate your accomplishments!

Using an Eye Chart to Measure Your Visual Acuity

Stick the eye chart at eye level on a wall at home, preferably where it can get good natural and artificial light.

Put your nose against the eye chart and move away from it until you reach a distance at which you can see clearly and effortlessly line #3 but not line #4. Mark the floor at that distance with tape or a post-it with your name and the date.

Repeat this after covering one eye with one hand and mark the floor at that distance including your name, the date and which eye it is. Do the same with the other eye, also indicating it on the floor. It is possible that the three marks are at different distances.

Here are some eye chart products you can use for this practice:

Snellen Eye Chart

Snellen Pocket Eye Chart

Using a Measuring Tape to Assess Your Visual Field Extent

Take a measuring tape and hold it between your thumbs. Look at them and move them away from each other until you stop seeing them.

You may reach 180° or you may need to stop sooner. At the point where you stop perceiving them, write down the tape measure in your notebook.

Here are some suggested measuring tape products in case you do not have one at home yet:

Before Reading

Spend some time preparing to read in the best possible conditions and you will greatly optimize the benefits you will get from reading!

Your Reading Environment

Sitting down comfortably and making sure your sound, oxygenation and humidity conditions are suitable are important steps to create the best possible reading environment.

Sitting down Comfortably

If you want to optimize your reading benefits while taking care of your eyes and vision, it is important to use a comfortable chair when you read.

Balans kneeling chairs keep your back upright and allow a little movement so that your back remains flexible. Here are some suggestions:

You can also use a chair with back support. Sit down with your whole back against the chair so that its weight is fully supported. Here is a suggested chair with good support for your back, arms and head:

With this type of chair, it is also important to keep your knees at right angles and your feet resting on the floor or on a footrest such as these:

A final option is a sitting balance ball. This also strengthens your back muscles and balance while allowing some movement and an upright posture.

Sound Conditions

To be able to focus on reading, it is important to consider the sound conditions in your reading environment. If there is noise, it will probably interfere with your visual concentration functions.

Choose a quiet place or where you can play soft and pleasant music that invites relaxation and concentration. If noise is unavoidable, you can use earplugs such as these:

Oxygenation and Humidity

It is very useful to have plants to oxygenate the place where you read and bring you a positive mood.

Also, sometimes when you are reading or looking at a screen you tend to forget to blink, which prevents your eyes from being properly moisturized.

In order to prevent dry eyes, remember to blink every 2-3 seconds. You can also use a humidifier or diffuser like these two below:

Your Reading Posture

We will now see in more detail the importance of posture when it comes to reading, and how to optimize this important aspect.

Compensating for the Way We Use Our Bodies and Eyes while Reading

The body is not meant to sit still for a long time like we do when we are reading. So, to take care of your eyes to read more and better, you need to compensate by spending time outdoors, moving around and looking at moving items from afar.

You will also need to compensate with the very specific way the eyes work when reading. A very recommended activity is juggling with balls such as the ones below; by following 3D objects in movement, your eyes are mobilized and work in coordination with your hands. This means you are using them in a very different way than when reading.

Changing Postures while Reading

If you spend a lot of time reading or at the computer, it is very useful to change your postures so you are not always burdening the same parts of your body, and so your eyes are looking at varying distances.

Here are three different suggested positions:

  1. Sit in front of a table with your feet flat on the floor and use a book stand such as the ones below; this way you can keep the book at a height that is suitable for your eyes. You can also tilt the book and put it at the distance of your elbow or a bit farther away for variation, but always with the center of the book slightly below your eyes.
  1. Use a standing desk like the one below. By standing, you will be able to move your body as you read.
  1. Use an ergonomic relaxation chair. In this case it is important to hold the book at a good height. You could use a cushion to keep your elbows up.

Using a Pointer for Reading

Use a pointer like the ones below to follow your reading and foster a form of eye-hand-body coordination. This makes it easier to follow the lines you are reading with attention, speed and comfort.

The Importance of Light

From best to worst, these are the different artificial light types for your eyes and your vision and especially for reading:

  1. Halogen and incandescent lights. They are warmer, more relaxing and have a wider frequency range. Unfortunately, they are harder and harder to find nowadays.
  2. LED lights.
  3. Fluorescent lights.

Since LED lights are the best artificial lights that are widely available currently, we will look at the most suitable types of LED lights you can use—adjustable LED lights.

With this type of lights you can set light intensity, so that at night you can turn down the intensity and the hue to tend to warmer, yellow-orange-reddish lights.

This way, your LED lights can simulate the different hues of natural light and emit blue light during the day and reddish light in the evening.

This will help you continue reading without damaging your eyes or altering the quality of your sleep and the regeneration of your organism.

Here are some suggested adjustable LED light products:

Practice and see the benefits!

By making it easier and more enjoyable for you to read more, these best practices will bring you more of the benefits we shared earlier, such as optimizing your brain and understanding, increasing your empathy, improving your health and well-being and even helping you live longer!

If you are already passionate about reading, imagine how much more you will enjoy it by implementing these tips! All the while taking better care of your eyes and vision.

We will be sharing more of these reading and vision tips along with our suggested materials for your convenience. Let us know in the comments if you enjoyed this article and are looking forward to more!

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