Health Benefits of Bingo
Bingo is a game that can provide hours of fun, socialization and entertainment. If recent reports are to be believed, bingo has several health benefits. A study done by Southampton University in the UK showed that bingo players were faster and more accurate than non-players during tests designed to measure mental speed and the ability to scan for information, and memory.
The study's results came as no surprise to the UK Bingo Association. The organization said that bingo games are played by three million people with an average age of 49. Bingo Association spokeswoman Gloria Pattinson stated "The blue rinse brigade dominated it 15 years ago. But then it was taken up by celebrities Denise Van Outen, Elle Macpherson, Robbie Williams, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Bianca and Jade Jagger. These acted as role models for younger people, who started going to evening sessions before moving on to clubs and pubs. Older people still go to morning and afternoon sessions. The skill needed in bingo is quite high, which is why these findings are no surprise. You have to be a good listener and search for numbers quickly."
Bingo keeps the mind active during games. Players must have good hand eye coordination necessary to mark bingo cards quickly especially when playing multiple cards. Doctors have long known that the elderly need all the exercise they can get, including senior citizen bingo. The social aspect of bingo is also important. A study done at the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago clearly showed the importance of social interaction. Bryan James, a dementia expert said "Social activity has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy aging, but now we have strong evidence that it is also related to better everyday functioning and less disability in old age. The findings are exciting because social activity is potentially a risk factor that can be modified to help older adults avoid the burdens of disability." The study showed that people who took part in social activities such as bingo were twice as likely to remain independent in their early 80s. The cognitive benefits of bingo are well researched, and you can find more information about them here.
Researcher Julie Winstone found that older bingo players outperformed their younger counterparts suggesting that mental exercise keeps the brain sharper well into old age. Several university studies have shown the benefits provided by bingo games. Bingo keeps the mind sharp well into old age and provides much needed social interaction. In many UK bingo halls there are players 100 years old and a few have credited bingo for their longevity.
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