According to a new study by psychologists at the University of Edinburgh those who play board games are more likely to stay mentally sharp later in life.
More than 1,000 people aged 70-years-old were tested for memory, problem solving, thinking speed and general thinking ability, scored better on memory and thinking tests.
The university’s Dr Drew Altschul said, “These latest findings add to evidence that being more engaged in activities during the life course might be associated with better thinking skills in later life.
“For those in their 70s or beyond, another message seems to be that playing non-digital games may be a positive behaviour in terms of reducing cognitive decline.”
Caroline Abrahams, Age UK charity director said, “Even though some people’s thinking skills can decline as we get older, this research is further evidence that it doesn’t have to be inevitable.
“The connection between playing board games and other non-digital games later in life and sharper thinking and memory skills adds to what we know about steps we can take to protect our cognitive health, including not drinking excess alcohol, being active and eating a healthy diet.”
The director of the university’s Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE) said: “We and others are narrowing down the sorts of activities that might help to keep people sharp in older age.
“In our Lothian sample, it’s not just general intellectual and social activity, it seems – it is something in this group of games that has this small but detectable association with better cognitive ageing.
“It’d be good to find out if some of these games are more potent than others.
“We also point out that several other things are related to better cognitive ageing, such as being physically fit and not smoking.”