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Seniors Read Three Times Faster on Tablets

Although people of all age groups expressed an instinctive preference for reading the written word on physical pages, it appears that reading performance doesn’t show the same distinction. In fact, the difference is most notable in seniors, and it’s not the performance result you might expect. Seniors have been shown to read about three times faster when reading on a tablet, like iPad, compared to reading print books.

German researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz want to refute the common belief that e-readers and tablets are damaging to the eyes when used for reading. Professor  Dr. Stephan Fussel had this to say:

“E-books and e-readers are playing an increasingly important role on the worldwide book market. However, readers can be particularly sceptical when it comes to e-books and electronic reading devices. The objective of the study was to investigate whether there are reasons for this scepticism. Researchers found that reading using an iPad helped people process information more easily. This study provides us with a scientific basis for dispelling the widespread misconception that reading from a screen has negative effects.”

By tracking eye movements and analyzing brain activity, scientists were able to determine increased productivity and efficiency through the use of tablets, compared to not only books but also e-readers-it’s an issue of usability. There were no differences among the younger test subjects between any of the three formats. This shows seniors can definitely benefit from developing computer technologies, even if they may still prefer more traditional forms of reading.

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