Can Gambling be Good for you?
Who knew gambling could be good for you? According to a
study done recently at Yale University in the US people 65 and
older who gamble moderately online for recreational purposes
seem healthier than their non-gambling counterparts. Blue
haired women with bingo cards were heard cheering throughout
the country at the news.
The study was done through
phone interviews of 2147 adults broken down by age into two
groups: ages 18 - 64, and 65 and above. Rani Desai, associate
professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Yale
University, found that moderate gambling is a common
denominator in adults above the age of 65. The older people
who gambled were in fact healthier than the non-gambling
adults of the same age.
''Although the underlying reasons remain hypothetical,
proposed reasons included the increased activity,
socialization, and cognitive stimulation that are related to
engaging in gambling,'' Desai and her co-authors said. ''Such
a mechanism would be consistent with the literature on healthy
aging, which indicates that more socially and cognitively
active elders are, in general, healthier.'' In other words,
gambling is good because it is engaging. It requires the
player to interact with others socially, which has a positive
effect on the older section of the population.
Playing poker online helps cognitive thinking. Playing
bingo gets you out and about and active. The benefit in gaming
for older people is the increase in social and mental
activity. This seems logical for anyone who has watched
sprightly little old ladies playing slots in Las Vegas, but it
surprised the researchers. They originally expected to find
opposite results. Gaming as a hobby helps the aging population
stay active both socially and mentally.
Rani also states that her study is not conclusive and more
research needs to be done on the topic.