Today, April 13th is National Scrabble Day! Scrabble and many other board games are incredibly fun to play and are a great alternative when the weather is gloomy. But did you know they also have many benefits for our overall health? It is essential to have physical exercise, but it is also important to have mental exercise. Board games offer such a range of benefits to everyone of all ages. That is why they are a perfect fit for intergenerational living at OPAL by element!
You are never too young or too old to stimulate your mind. Board games aid in promoting all minds, regardless of age. Playing board games helps the more youthful generations because it aids in developing our frontal lobes in our brains, and for the older generations, they can help exercise our frontal lobes to stay sharp.
The frontal lobes of our brain are responsible for many things, such as:
Social interactions can directly impact our quality of life, so even if you don’t have family or friends close by to play with, you can always use it to connect with new people! Some of the best memories can be made by having game nights or playing a casual board game with family or friends.
A board game reviewer, Benjamin Abbott, has compiled an extensive list of must-have board games that allow inclusivity of all ages; check it out here. Another positive to board games is that the range of players can be one person to X amount of people, so in every group, small or big, there is always a game that can be played to include everyone!
Studies have been done based on board games helping those of all ages who suffer from anxiety. The structured nature of a game allows the potential to provide an easier way of building interpersonal relationships and allowing conversations to flow easier with games that promote speech throughout, such as Guess Who, Battleship, and others.
Some games promote calmness and stress relieving. If you find board games soothing and an excellent way to unwind, the effects can also trickle into other health benefits. Studies have shown it can help lower your blood pressure and may even help with depression.
Dexterity, meaning, skill and grace in physical movement, especially using our hands.
Another perk of (some) board games benefiting people of all ages playing is the ability to improve hand-eye coordination. So, for people of all ages, they encourage the use of fine motor skills. Check out Dice Breaker for a list of some great games for dexterity!
“Our relationship with technology affects how we communicate. But it also affects the deeper ways we interact and connect with people,” said Dr. Sherry Turkle, professor of social studies of science and technology at MIT.
Technology has done wonders in making our daily lives easier, but there have also been consequences because of it. Studies show younger generations are losing the ability to communicate in person. And all ages are yearning for simple human interaction. Board games give us that break from our phones, tablets, and computers that we need. Even if it is only for an hour, we get and provide that vital social interaction by sitting down to play a board game with our family/friends.
At OPAL by element, we have two rooms dedicated to games; we have two settings with large scrabble boards in our games area and the many game activities that our remarkable Recreation team plans monthly. The wonderful thing about board games is the number of styles of games is endless. If you are someone who doesn’t have a lot of interest in playing them, do some research because there is more than likely an intriguing game for you out there. So, call your grandchildren, grandparents, friends, or even a neighbor and start playing!