To kill time, some people scroll through their social media feeds, which ends up going on for hours and hours without their knowledge, while others answer Sudoku or crossword puzzles.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but there seem to be more old people who answer these things than younger ones, which might actually be good for them because it is beneficial for their brain health, a study says.
A study, published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, may have revealed the secret to sharper minds.
The researchers analyzed data from a little more than 19,000 people in the PROTECT program to check how frequent they answer games like Sudoku and crossword puzzles. Specifically, they examined 50 to 93-year-olds and they were quizzed every year. They gauge the participants’ memory, reasoning, and attention through a series of tests.
They found that those over 50 who engage in puzzles more tend to have healthier brains that functioned better than those who didn’t. Anne Corbett, the lead researcher, concluded that the more a person answers these games, the sharper their performance is in the tasks. Specifically, this was evident in their accuracy and speed in the cognition tests.
What’s amazing was that, those who do Sudoku and puzzles had brain function that was the same as those 10 years younger than them, the tests showed. For short-term memory tests, those who answered this type of game had a brain function like that of people eight years younger.
Although it sounds like Sudoku and crossword puzzles are a big help for our brain health, the researchers wouldn’t go into saying that these reduce the risk of developing dementia later on, the expert clarified. However, the study is a reiteration of previous researches that regular and constant use of puzzles help keep the brain function longer.
Other Benefits of Puzzles
As noted, Sudoku and crossword puzzles aren’t just helping your brain to get sharper, it also has other benefits. Because this type of game involves focus, you will be invested in answering them, which means that your focus remains on what you’re doing alone rather than to think about your problems. Even for just a short period of time, taking your mind off of your problems can greatly help you.
Who among us reads the dictionary just because? Perhaps just a few, but thanks to crossword puzzles, you can learn new words in a fun way. It is an awesome way to increase your vocabulary and you can always resort to your dictionary to check the meaning.
You can also gain friends through puzzles. How? There are others who also love crosswords or Sudokus, whom you can create a connection with. Plus, these games are usually brain racking and if you found yourself frustrated over a seemingly impossible-to-answer game, it pays to have someone to ask for help.