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Three Health Benefits of Adult Coloring Books

Posted April 5, 2016 in Content

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It’s 2016. Apple is getting ready to release a sleeker, higher-tech iPhone 7. We’ve sent humans to the moon and back half a dozen times, and thousands of organ transplants occur every day, with impressive rates of success.

But, with all these innovations, 2016 may be remembered most for something far less cutting edge. In fact, the concept is so low tech that it’s considered child’s play — Adult Coloring Books. The reason? This childhood pastime has been shown to offer a variety of health benefits.

Stress Release

Although many find coloring outside the lines far more appealing than working within the boundaries of a black and white sketch, several studies have shown that the practice of coloring within a pre-set pattern helps individuals focus, stay in the moment, and release stress. In fact, one 2006 study published in Psychooncology correlated art therapy activities to reduced emotional and physical discomfort in female patients undergoing cancer treatments.

Focused Practice

Recent studies also indicate that any adult who can benefit from increased focus, including those with obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders,or anger management issues, may realize positive results from coloring. The benefits have been compared to the focused relaxation that people experience through meditation since it promotes mindfulness through a calm and relaxing activity.

Anti-Anxiety Activity

Those with PTSD and severe stress and anxiety are often restless and agitated due to the fight or flight response believed to originate in the amygdala portion of the brain. However, studies such as the one published by Psych Central, have shown that self-soothing activities such as coloring can help calm the amygdala by offering a peaceful and productive activity to help control anxiety.

How Libraries Are Getting Into the Game

Continuing in their mission to serve the community as a source for information and programming, many libraries are hosting coloring programs for adults. While some are using them as single, one-off events, others are making them part of their regular program, creating coloring clubs similar to book clubs.

Another way libraries can provide patrons access to the benefits of coloring is by offering digital coloring books for download. Libraries who have access to Flipster®, the digital magazine newsstand for libraries, can offer patrons access to a variety of Adult Coloring Books that can be downloaded and printed on a page per page basis.


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