Hosting family over the holidays? The only thing more stressful than preparing the food is deciding how to entertain your guests. New research provides good reason to dust off your old board games; they can boost brain health.
According to a 68-year-long study conducted by psychologists from the University of Edinburgh, playing board and card games regularly can lead to higher cognitive functioning later in life.
The study, conducted by the University of Edinburgh, assessed more than 1,000 people of the same sex, health and activity levels, and education, born in 1936. They were tested at age 11 and again at age 70 for cognitive functioning.
Games included crosswords, bingo, cards, and chess, and participants were asked to rate their frequency of playing from one (every day) down to five (less than once a year or never). Those who played board games more often throughout their lifetimes had sharper mental thinking compared to those who rarely played, or who began playing digital games later in life.
Researchers are hopeful their findings will help the medical and scientific communities better understand what lifestyle choices and hobbies can improve patients’ chances of enjoying improved thinking skills in old age.