November 28 : Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh suggest that people who play non-digital games like board games, cards, chess, bingo or crosswords are mentally sharper than the rest. The research says that even during their old age, these people stay mentally fit.
Tests and the outcome
The University of Edinburgh psychologists, who worked on this study since 1999, tested more than 1,000 people aged 70, and found that people who regularly play non-digital games have better memory and thinking power. These people are likely to continue having higher thinking skills as they grow older. According to Dr Drew Altschul of the University of Edinburgh's School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, people who are more engaged in activities that need them to apply their thinking skills will have better memory skills in later life.
Before coming to the conclusion, the researchers considered the results of the intelligence test that the participants took when they were 11 years old. The psychologists also took into account their lifestyle factors like education, socio-economic status and levels of their mental and physical activities.
The researchers found that the sample team of participants, who increased playing board games in their middle and old age, had better thinking skills in their 70s. In fact, there was less decline in their thinking skills over the years.
Benefits of the study
The University of Edinburgh study will help common people to understand what kind of lifestyle and behaviours can help in having good mental health in later life. The study will also help people to take precautions to protect their thinking skills as they grow old. The study clearly gives the message that playing non-digital games is a positive behaviour and should be practiced by all.
Caroline Abrahams, charity director of Age UK concluded that even though some people’s thinking skills can decline as they get older, but this research is the evidence that it is not inevitable as now we know how to protect our thinking and memory skills as we age.