Forget the naysayers - playing bingo or doing the crossword could keep you mentally sharp, research suggests.
People in their seventies who take part in bingo, along with other activities such as crosswords, cards and board games are more likely to maintain their thinking skills, a study found.
Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh tested more than 1,000 people aged 70 for memory, problem solving, thinking speed and general thinking ability. They found that those who regularly played non-digital games scored better on memory and thinking tests. "These latest findings add to evidence that being more engaged in activities during the life course might be associated with better thinking skill in later life," said the university's Dr Drew Altschul.
"Playing non-digital games may be a positive behaviour in terms of reducing cognitive decline."
Results from an intelligence test they sat when they were 11 years old were taken into account, with the new results having repeated the same thinking tests every three years until the age of 79.
The study is published in The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences.