Have you ever wondered what affects your thinking skills? Studies say a lot of things about reading, counting or exercising your brain and memory through different tasks and tests. But all of these activities may be dead-boring and time-consuming. So, what about more pleasant ways of protecting your thinking, especially in old age when you are no longer so focused as you were in the youth?
It turns out that the best method is playing board games. Can you imagine anything more interesting? Not only is it a great way of spending your free time with your friends, but it also stimulates your brain to faster and more productive thinking. And it’s proven scientifically! That’s why don’t lose your time and start practicing it no matter how old you are. You can benefit from the advantages of board games at any age.
The impact of board games on your thinking skills was studied by psychologists from the University of Edinburgh. They tested around 1 000 people at the age of 70 in terms of their memory, problem-solving, thinking speed and general thinking ability. The results were astonishing. People who had the habit of playing non-digital games had much better results than their peers who didn’t play any games at all. What’s more, they were more likely to maintain their thinking skills as they grow older.
These tests were repeated every three years until they turned 79. To complete the research, psychologists asked people in their seventies about the frequency of playing different games. It was crucial to determine and analyze the relationship between their level of gaming and their thinking abilities.
Although the frequency of playing is quite essential, your intellectual activity also depends on the type of games you play because some games are believed to have a more powerful impact than others. Therefore, participants were questioned about what kinds of games they tend to choose and use the most often. There is a wide range of games available, from cards, bingo to crosswords, or more demanding board games, which sometimes even require using other auxiliary tools, like Word Unscrambler. Such devices are usually available online, and their main purpose is to help gamers unscramble every word. They use it, especially if they encounter any difficulties playing, for example, Scrabble or another similar board game. Although some people would say that it’s unfair, looking for different options to decode your puzzles can, indeed, significantly improve your thinking skills. The more often you look at different combinations of letters and possible answers, the more advanced in playing and unscrambling words you become. From now on, you are only one step from mastering these types of games and becoming an expert. Then, you’ll even surprise your grandchild how good at playing you can be.
Of course, judging cognitive skills, researchers took into account other factors as well. Besides the frequency of playing and types of games, they looked at participants’ lifestyles, including educational background, their social status, the level of their physical activity, and their addictions. Also, they compared the results from the intelligence test the participants sat at the age of 11, with all the thinking tests taken by them until the age of 79. Such a research method was important to determine what else lied behind the success of the subjects’ good results.
This study can also help some people establish what steps they should take to improve their cognitive thinking. Apart from leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding unhealthy food, alcohol, cigarettes, and other addictions, they should, no two ways about it, start playing board and other non-digital games. There’s still some hope for the elderly, but not only. The earlier you take up playing, the more chances of staying in a good mental condition you have.
As was mentioned before, the results of this study carried out in Scotland were extremely positive. The regular engagement in such activities as board games can lead to better memory function and thinking speed in your later life. Furthermore, these people are less likely to suffer from cognitive decline, enjoying their memory and concentration for years and years. It means that it’s never too late to reach for a board game instead of playing only computer games, which don’t develop your thinking as well as their board counterparts.
No matter what age you are, take playing board games seriously. They are a non-demanding way of spending your free time both with your family members and friends. You’ll find them more often in many cafés and pubs, but also in most stationery shops. They can be an excellent treat for the whole family, simultaneously providing everyone with other benefits concerning their thinking skills.