Bingo is one of the most popular games around, with millions of people participating on a daily basis. It is a simple and exciting game of chance, where anybody can be a winner – it all depends on the numbers you have in front of you.
Players can choose from a plethora of bingo games to play online, or a live in-house game at a dedicated bingo hall. There are now countless ways to take part, experience the thrills and try to win big for yourself.
But the benefits of bingo don’t just begin and end with the excitement of playing it. In fact, scientists and psychologists believe that there are numerous health benefits that come with playing bingo.
The mental and emotional health benefits of playing bingo
Whether it’s meeting up with friends or just speaking in an online chatroom, there are numerous emotional health benefits from playing bingo. And this all comes down to the social aspect of playing.
Bingo can help people form and maintain social connections, ensuring players remain socially active. This is beneficial for emotional health, and the benefits are long lasting.
Socially active players have a lower risk of loneliness, depression, and even health conditions such as high blood pressure. If this wasn’t enough, then there’s all the laughter along the way.
Laughter releases endorphins, which can relieve pain and stress – and in some cases, can even boost the immune system. A lack of socialisation can have detrimental effects to a person’s livelihood, and funny as it sounds, bingo is often the answer.
Multiple studies have shown that being social (especially in old age) can work wonders for mental health. Regular bingo participants have experienced lower cases of stress, depression and anxiety.
The physical health benefits of bingo
And the health benefits don’t stop here. For those who regularly play bingo, there are several positive enhancements to your physical health.
To start with, there’s the improved hand eye coordination. Research has repeatedly shown that bingo is great to help seniors boost their hand eye coordination, due to how players rely on dexterity and sharp reflexes to quickly pick out numbers.
A 2011 study took this even further, following subjects as they entered their 80’s to see how independent they were. This meant whether they needed help climbing the stairs, dressing themselves, or any other everyday task.
The study found out that those who played bingo, and therefore had a higher level of social activity, were less likely to have a disability in later life.
And for those who are healing from illness or surgery, bingo can work wonders. Research has found that when seniors play bingo while recovering, hospital stays are shortened and healing times increased.
If this wasn’t enough, those played games during their recovery significantly reduced their risks of becoming depressed.
If you play bingo, your cognitive abilities are quickly boosted. A study has shown that the simple act of playing bingo can improve your brain’s memory capabilities, alertness, and overall processing speeds.
There are numerous reasons for this. For starters, players have to be skillful listeners with the ability to look for numbers quickly – and as concentration declines with age, bingo can help us stay on the ball.
This is also the case for players with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other forms of dementia. If they play with larger, high contrast cards, their visual perception and cognitive skills improved.
For this with milder dementia, computer screens were adjusted for brightness and size, and they could play online bingo just as well as those without the condition. Bingo has numerous psychological benefits for those with even the most life altering health conditions.
Various studies have shown that having an active social life can help slow memory loss. Bingo can help players forge new social groups and start new friendships – which has multiple cognitive benefits further down the road.
As evidenced from numerous studies, it is highly recommended that you play bingo as you advance through life. No matter whether you are shutting off from the outside world to play at home, or meeting up with friends at a bingo hall, playing the game can help you stay functioning to the best of your abilities.
Researchers at the University of Southampton found that those who played bingo had better memory, speed and cognitive function than those who didn’t. And this isn’t just among older players – younger people who didn’t play bingo were found to be less sharp than older people who did.
The social perks can also help you stay mentally on top of your game for longer. Statistics show that older people who maintain social interaction have a much slower mental and physical decline than those who do not.
We opened this article by asking if playing bingo was good for your health – and judging by the evidence, the answer is a resounding yes.