Do you like bingo? I think it’s a stupid game,” said a friend of mine when I mentioned I was writing articles for UK Bingo News. However, research has shown that playing bingo can increase your mental agility, which would suggest that the game is anything but stupid.
Bingo is hardly the most active of games, and whether you play online or at clubs, you are unlikely to develop a fit and toned body in the process (unless someone comes up with bingo-robics). However, a study of 112 people – in which half of the group was made to play bingo, whilst the other half remained idle – showed that the people who played bingo completed tests more accurately than those who did not. These findings would suggest that though bingo may not help you develop a fit body, it may help to build a fitter mind.
The superior performance of the bingo players was evident across the whole age range of 18 to 82. While younger players were slightly faster, older players were more accurate, though the difference between age groups was marginal.
What could be the cause of this? Well, as people who play bingo would know, the game has a social aspect, whether it’s chatting online, or to friends and opponents in a hall – the mental stimulation of conversation can keep you sharper. On top of this, mental agility is increased as players have to multitask as they scan their cards, listen to the caller, chat to friends and stay alert so that their opponents don’t beat them to the jackpot.
Perhaps the advantage of the ability to concentrate on many things at once is why the game is so popular with women, who have long argued that they have a superior ability to multitask, and tend to be more prolific communicators. In fact, some online studies indicate that close to 90% of online bingo players are female, and in their mid to late forties, but the average age of players is becoming younger over time. In these studies, it was found that more than a third of online bingo players play on a daily basis. If the results of the accuracy test are to be believed, then there are a lot of women steadily making themselves smarter out there.