Studies say playing bingo can be good for the brain

Posted: 6th October 2016 09:27

It is now taken as common sense that it is good to keep the brain active. Regardless of age, it is always a good idea to do puzzles, read, converse or take part in any other activity that constitutes brain exercise. Studies have been made into the effect of games like bingo on the brain, and the results are surprising.

Everyone knows how bingo works. It is quite a simple game; simply match the numbers on a card to the numbers that are drawn. It sounds quite simple. But when taking part in a game of bingo our brains are doing much more than just matching numbers. Our brains are recognising patterns, and moreover, the brain is searching for and recognising patterns within time restraints. This time restraint makes bingo slightly different from other games with cognitive merit like chess or bridge.

The BBC reported on a study made by Ms Julie Winstone from the University of Southampton, which was presented to the Annual Conference of the Psychologists Special Interest Group in Older People. The study looked at a group of 112 people over a period of a year; some of the participants were bingo players and others were not. The findings showed that those who played bingo were clearly better and faster at using the types of skills used for playing the game. Amazingly, this was also the case when testing older bingo players against younger non-playing participants.

It is good news and a good advertisement for the game itself. The popularity of bingo is growing worldwide, thanks mostly to the rise of online bingo sites. These sites have been replacing the old community centres and offering a platform for bingo to a new generation of players. They offer varied games and can entice players with large jackpot funds. These days you can play bingo anywhere with William Hill and other operators who offer bingo on various platforms like mobile and tablet.

What does this all mean? Simply that there may be some hidden benefits to playing games that we may regard as simplistic. Bingo may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but many people are enjoying the game and giving their brain a good work out at the same time.