08 Feb 2014

Not Just His Game, Oh: Why Bingo Is Great for Your Health

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When you think of the game “Bingo”, you think of it as a simple way to happily pass the time. Usually held in churches, community centers, retirement homes, or care centers such as Rockaway, Bingo often takes up a weekly, if not daily slot on the calendar of events.

Bingo originated in 16th century Italy as a lottery game, and was used in Germany shortly thereafter to teach children numbers and letters.  Eventually, in the 1920s, Bingo got its big hit when an American by the name of Hugh J. Ward standardized the game, which at the time was played at carnivals in Pennsylvania.

Then, in 1933, Ward went on to do what any right-minded American entrepreneur would as a next step: He copyrighted “Bingo”, and wrote its rule book. Take note that Bingo was popularized during the very years of the Prohibition.  Consequently, especially considering the game was featured specifically at carnivals, it begs the question whether Bingo’s intrigue went along with some clandestine goings-on of the times.

Nowadays, even though Bingo can be featured as a gambling game in casinos, any cryptic edge is usually absent – in other words, Bingo is just good, clean fun. Which is why it’s found in churches, community centers, retirement homes, or care centers such as Rockaway.

Bingo is not just a game though – in fact, Bingo has, perhaps surprisingly, several health benefits.  Here’s a list of the ways Bingo keeps your mind and spirit in shape.

1)     Attention Span. What happens if you miss even one number call? We don’t want to answer that.

2)     Eyesight.  You need to read by looking down at your Bingo cards on your table, and up at the number being called at the dais. This way, both nearsighted and farsighted eyes gain exercise.

3)     Routine.  Those attending regular Bingo games tend not to have a regular schedule of work or studies. Knowing they have Bingo on x day at x hour provides structure.

4)     Social. Countless studies show a correlation between a strong social network and good health. You chat with your neighbors before, after and in between games. You start to be able to anticipate who’s coming to which game, forming friendships with other attendees.

5)     Multi-Tasking. Many players pride themselves on running several Bingo cards at once. This really keeps your brain on the job(s).

6)     Financial. Yes, financial stability is good for health because it lowers stress levels. Bingo is a game which doesn’t break your pocket (at least if you’re not going full force on the casinos) and to boot, you might even be a winner now and again, gaining at least enough to cover your next few entry fees.

Rockaway Care Center holds Bingo games a few times a week. Join in and benefit for all of the above reasons, and continue in the long-standing tradition of fun for anyone.

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