When people think of bingo players they usually come up with the same stereotype; a lady in her twilight years, little else to do with her time but play bingo and chat to others who live a similar lifestyle. The truth is that this cliche went out the window well over a decade ago. During the 1990’s bingo became fashionable with young couples and groups of friends (usually in their mid-late 20’s), particularly in the UK with the emergence of companies like Gala and Mecca Bingo. Nonetheless, the more senior players still leave their younger counterparts in their wake in terms of the steed that they play at.
We’ve all seen those lovely little old ladies that walk into the bingo hall, walking stick in one hand and a bag full of dabbers in the other. Then they sit down with 5 cards a game, dabbing at a pace even the most mentally agile teenager would be proud of. How do they do that? Well, according to research conducted by Southampton University, that’s due to the regular exercise their brain gets during their regular trips to the local bingo operator.
The results of the research, which was conducted by Julie Winstone as part of her PhD, showed that bingo players displayed faster reaction times and drastically better hand eye coordination than their non-bingoing counterparts, regardless of their age. While it is generally accepted that the mind is one of the first things to grow weaker as we age, those that keep their mind active on a regular basis with activities such as bingo will negate the decline of their mental abilities.
Why is bingo so good for the health of the mind?
Numbers are usually called at a rather rapid pace, so players are constantly kept on their toes.
If you’re finding it too easy you can increase the difficulty by an almost infinite amount with additional cards. We’ve even heard of veterans turning their cards upside down for more of a challenge!
While many other activities improve your reactions with “prescribed responses”, bingo requires you to think about what you have heard, find the number and then dab it within the a few short seconds. The highly dynamic nature of bingo keeps you from operating in a pattern and going into auto pilot.
When you’re visiting a bingo hall for a few games, socialising is a huge aspect of the experience. This promotes further stimulus for the brain as you engage in a friendly conversation and observe social etiquette.
Even things as simple as making your way to the bingo hall have positive effects. Getting out of the house to do something other than errands always makes it a pleasant trip and a happy mind is a healthy mind.
Is all of this true for online bingo?
For the most part, yes. Obviously there are a couple of things that won’t stand true, such as the journey to the bingo hall and the socialisation while there won’t have such a profound effect. However, the foundations are still there. You’re still engaging in a dynamic and enthralling game that will make you think, react and remain alert.
Think of your local bingo hall as the gym for your brain and online bingo as a treadmill in your living room. It’s great if you can get down there once or twice a week but if you can’t, the treadmill is still a lot better than sitting on the sofa watching TV — Which, by the way, most certainly isn’t good for you!