E-readers more likely to use internet for health issues

E-reader users are older than previously thought, and more health concerned
Kerry Butters

September 12, 2011

An online behavioural study has found that people who read e-books are more likely to use the internet to research health issues.

This is likely to be because many e-reader owners are over 50 and not, as commonly thought, in the younger age brackets.

The study also shows that many people who use e-books are also better informed on their illness following diagnosis by a doctor. It is also thought that people who look into symptoms online are more likely to go and initiate tests with a doctor.

Readers are also more likely to be actively engaged with improving their health via the internet, according to the research. Many e-readers register with online health magazines, read reviews of healthcare professionals and search for healthy recipes.

They will also interact with others on health message boards as well as look into the side effects of prescribed drugs relating to their illness.

The study said that there was a “marked difference in uses of the internet for health and wellness information between e-book and e-reader app users and the rest of the internet population.”

The 27.1 million e-book readers are three times more likely to go online more than once a day to look up issues relating to health than their non-reading counterparts.

It would seem that those who are interested in keeping a healthy mind then are also keen to maintain a healthy body.

The research was carried out by Kantar Media, a firm interested in what impact technology has on economic, social and behavioural patterns of those that use it.


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