Issue 13 - Sept 2005
Southampton University psychology researcher Julie Winstone has discovered that playing bingo has psychological benefits.
"Whilst games such as chess and bridge have been studied before, nobody has ever focussed on bingo, despite the fact that it has been voted one of the UK's most popular leisure activities", she said.
She found out that players were faster and more accurate than non-bingo players on tests measuring mental speed, the ability to scan for information, and memory.
Bingo requires rapid hand-eye coordination, visual skills, and memory. "In bingo it is very important not to miss a number and you have to sustain your attention sometimes for several hours. Concentration has been shown to decline with age so bingo could be helping older people sustain their attention for longer", Ms Winstone said.Thus, laying bingo keeps you more alert into old age: "Just as keeping physically active helps ward off the signs of physiologically aging, it may be that keeping mentally active helps to maintain mental alertness."
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