New research out of Germany has found that adults aged 60 and over spend more time reading hardcopy books than they do on a tablet or ereader. Is this causing eye-strain?
Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, tracked the eye movements and brain activity of participants to their study. They found that even though the younger participants in the study showed no difference between hardcopy and digital reading, the participants aged 60 and over found electronic devices easier to read.
When surveyed before the study, traditional hardcopy books were twice as popular with older participants than the electronic devices
While the study did find that tablets and ereaders are better for your eyes than books, there are times when each medium has its own benefits.
Tablet computers, such as the iPad, are backlit which, when used around bright light, produce a lot of glare and are very hard on the eyes. In these circumstances an eReader, such as the Kindle with its EInk screen, is significantly better on your eyes and even a hardcopy book is preferable.
While EInk readers do have their upsides, one downside is the low contrast ratio which makes it difficult to read in low light situations. Of course, reading a hardcopy book would be equally bad, but a backlit tablet would work well in this situation.
The authors of the study noted that none of their results backed up the popular notion that digital reading devices are more tiring on the eyes.
Read more from The Telegraph.