When was the last time you sat down and wrote a handwritten note or letter? One of the dilemmas of the digital age is the decline of handwriting due to the convenience and speed that digital devices offer when communicating.
A study conducted in the United Kingdom in 2014 revealed 40% of the participants stated they had not written anything by hand for more than 6 months. In China, young people are losing their calligraphy skills due to increased use of digital devices to communicate. So is this a bad thing? Research has shown that handwriting does increase brain activity and hones fine motor skills, so there is certainly value in maintaining this basic skill.
Officeworks - with the assistance of Deakin University – recently conducted a study to understand the role that handwriting plays in today’s society. Those who participated in the study reported a positive impact to their wellbeing, such as a greater sense of life satisfaction when handwriting 15 to 20 minutes a day.
Other findings from the study revealed the following:
• Those who handwrite their thoughts, notes, ideas, feelings or memories are two and half times more likely to feel relived of stress, fear and anxiety than those who type out these feelings.
• 7 in 10 people believe that handwriting helps them to be more aware of their thoughts and feelings.
• More than 1 in 3 Australians never or rarely write about personal thoughts, notes, ideas, feelings or memories.
Aussies who handwrite personal notes - multiple times a day - report a greater level of general life satisfaction than those who don’t.
• 18 to 24-year-olds say they use handwriting as a way of getting in touch with their emotions.
• 25 to 35-year-olds use handwriting to keep positive memories and feelings alive.
• 35 to 44-year-olds consider handwriting to help them be more mindful.
• 44 to 54-year-olds say it is important to use handwriting to document significant life events.
• Over 55-year-olds overwhelmingly described the use of handwriting as a means of making a personal connection.
So if you find you don’t write 15 to 20 minutes a day, why not get back to basics and keep a handwritten journal or better still, write a letter to your family and friends? Because who doesn’t love receiving a personal letter in the mail - the old-fashioned way?
If you need further inspiration, join the Officeworks #timetowrite movement, which runs until the 25th September, 2016.