Health Benefits of Playing Chess
Health & Beauty / /
Chess has been known as a game of geniuses and gifted people. The reality is that playing chess actually results in improved memory, better brain function, strategic thinking and attention improvement. All of these benefits are directly related to the practice of chess and can also be included in real-life situations. Here are some few of the benefits chess causes to the cognitive abilities to those who are practicing it.
• Improves reading skills
According to one article, in an 1991 study it was studied the reading performance of 53 elementary school students who participated in a chess program, and they were compared to non-chess-playing students around the country. It was found that playing chess caused increased performance in reading. In a district where the average students showed results below the national average, students from the same district who were playing chess showed results above it.
• Optimizes memory improvement
Chess players know that playing chess improves the memory. It mainly comes because of the complex rules they have to remember, as well as the memory they require to memorize a certain opponent’s playing style or to avoid previous mistakes they have done. Players who practice chess regularly have exceptional memory performance and recall. A study of sixth-graders in Pennsylvania found that students who had never before played chess significantly improved their verbal skills and memory after playing it.
• Improves recovery from stroke or disability
Chess has a great influence in developing fine motor skills in individuals who have suffered a stroke or who have disability. Using chess for rehabilitation requires the motion of chess pieces in different directions on the board, which can help developing a patient’s motor skills. Practicing chess can also improve concentration and calmness, helping patients who have experienced different degrees of anxiety to relax.
• Improves the creativity
Playing chess has a significant impact in activating the right side of the brain, which is responsible for creativity. By that, it helps unleash one’s uniqueness and creativity. A four-year study which aim was to measure the growth in creative thinking, included students who in their free time once a week played chess, used computers, or do other activities for 32 weeks. The conclusion was that the chess group scored higher in all measures of creativity, with uniqueness being their main strength.
• Increases problem-solving skills
A chess match requires problem-solving and fast thinking because the opponent is constantly changing the moves and the strategy. “A 1992 study conducted on 450 fifth-grade students in New Brunswick indicated that those who learned to play chess scored significantly higher on standardized tests compared to those who did not play chess,” reported Health Fitness Revolution.
• Exercises both hemispheres of the brain
A German study proved that practicing chess activates simultaneously both hemispheres of the brain. When chess players were asked to identify chess positions and geometric shapes, the respondents highly activated both sides of the brain to make a quicker respond to the questions.
• Raises the IQ
Here comes the question does chess make people smart or do smart people play chess? At least one scientific study among many which were investigating this issue has found that playing the game can actually raise the IQ. A study of 4,000 Venezuelan students produced significant increase in the IQ scores of both boys and girls 4 four months of chess practice.
There is no other thing to do but to grab a chess board and improve your cognitive activities!
Source: Health Fitness Revolution