Why This Old School Activity Is Beneficial to Your Brain

Research keeps showing why it's a good idea to hold on to your pen and paper.
Why This Old School Activity Is Beneficial to Your Brain
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In a constantly connected world, it may seem like there is no need to handwrite anything anymore. But despite living in a time where a legitimate summer movie offering is about the inner lives of emoji, it would appear that cursive is thriving after an extended hiatus.

In early July, a law mandating the teaching of cursive in Louisiana in public schools went into effect, following a similar law passed in Arkansas in 2016. California, Florida, Virginia and Texas are also among several other states who have comparable laws on the books.

Virginia Berninger, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Washington who focuses on human development, told The Washington Post that in her research, “what we found was that children until about grade six were writing more words, writing faster and expressing more ideas if they could use handwriting -- printing or cursive -- than if they used the keyboard.”

Related: For a Memory Boost, Ditch the Laptop and Write It Down by Hand

And young kids just learning how to write isn’t the only group that the activity benefits. Studies have shown that in a college setting, those students that took notes by hand were able to absorb and remember more than those who used their computers.

The act of physically writing things down doesn’t only improve your memory. Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech who taught business and economics, found in his research that people who make it a regular practice to write down their goals earn nine times more over their careers than people who don’t.

So your memory, your creativity and your paycheck might be three good reasons why you should give yourself a break from typing and texting.

Edition: September 2017

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