It’s official, playing bingo is good for you, it keeps the mind focused and consequently keeping the mind in trim helps to keep your whole in trim too.

Researcher have carried out numerous tests, and the surprising outcome was that those that played bingo were faster to complete those tests and also more accurate than those who did not enjoy this highly social game. The tests undertaken measured memory, mental agility, and also the ability to pick up various bits of information from the local environment.

Interestingly, since bingo went online its popularity has rocketed with a huge number of bingo sites being launched, and the view that it is a game of the older generation has died a death with more and more younger people enjoying the social games.

There are over 3million people who enjoy a game in the UK, and those people span several age- brackets. For the older player having to have decent hand-eye co-ordination in order to play helps to keep those skills which decline as we age.

Another aspect of the game that keeps us on our toes is that good identification skills within a time constraint is necessary, unlike other games such as bridge, chess and backgammon where the skills that are necessary are stored in the brain and called upon when needed.

In a study looking at bingo players mental agility carried out by Ms J Winstone, from the University of Southhampton, and who works at the Centre for Visual Cognition within the Dept. of Psychology, her findings were pretty conclusive.

Ms Winstone studied the responses of 112 people who were in the age bracket of 18 to 40 and also 60 to 82 with half of each group being bingo players and of course the half were not bingo players.

Ms Winstones’ findings were presented to the Annual Conference of the Psychologists Special Interest Group in Older People and she is reported as saying ‘it was suspected that long-term mental activity-like bingo- could very well stave off the decline of cognitive abilities such as speed and accuracy and recognition of patterns.’ 

All of the bingo players taking part in the study were faster and more accurate than those that did not play the game which backs up many viewpoints that taking part in activities that require high levels of mental activity helps to keep cognitive functioning in later years.

Of course, it was expected that bingo players would out-perform non-bingo players at bingo skills but the interesting thing was that both the younger and older players were able to match each other in their level of performance.

The younger players were faster, but it turned out that the older players were more accurate in their tests, making bingo just as valuable as filling in puzzles or taking part in a card game like bridge.