Psychologists Claim Playing Bingo Could Keep the Mind Sharp

Psychologists Claim Playing Bingo Could Keep the Mind Sharp

Playing bingo is beneficial for your memory – there, you heard it here first! People in their 70’s who regularly play bingo could enjoy better cognitive ability later in life, according to psychologists from the University of Edinburgh. The team carried out a test on 1000 people aged 70 for memory, problem thinking and thinking speed and the results were phenomenal.

Each of the 1000 people were tested every three years until they reached 79 and the findings suggest that those who increased game playing between 70 and 76 were more likely to remain thinking skills as they aged…

…but online bingo doesn’t count! The test was carried out with bingo games you’d find at a local hall where you need to concentrate on what you’re doing – not just stare at your mobile or computer whilst the machine does all the hard work for you.

Bingo Brain

Psychologists used a sophisticated statistical model which took into account intelligence and gameplay and at the end of the lengthy research process, the result found that those who engaged in the game of bingo saw less decline in their thinking skills during their seventies.

Dr Drew Altschul, of the University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, said: “These latest findings add to evidence that being more engaged in activities during the life course might be associated with better thinking skills in later life. For those in their 70’s or beyond, another message seems to be that playing non-digital (bingo) games may be a positive behaviour in terms of reducing cognitive decline.”

Professor Ian Deary, Director of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE), added: “We and others are narrowing down the sorts of activities that might help to keep people sharp in older age. In our Lothian sample, it's not just general intellectual and social activity, it seems; it is something in this group of games that has this small but detectable association with better cognitive ageing. It'd be good to find out if some of these games are more potent than others. We also point out that several other things are related to better cognitive ageing, such as being physically fit and not smoking.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Even though some people's thinking skills can decline as we get older, this research is further evidence that it doesn't have to be inevitable. The connection between playing board games and other non-digital games (bingo) later in life and sharper thinking and memory skills adds to what we know about steps we can take to protect our cognitive health, including not drinking excess alcohol, being active and eating a healthy diet.”

Remember, the next time you’re sat dabbing your tickets in hope of a win, you’re aiding your future self and boosting your brainpower!

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