Are word game apps really good for brain health?


UTAH (ABC4) – We all know and love word game apps, like the ubiquitous Words between friends and Wordscapes, to name a few. However, we have to ask ourselves: do these games really sharpen our brains or just help us pass the time?

According to experts from Cleveland Clinicword game apps are a fun and healthy way to keep your mind sharp and fast.

“My idea about these types of puns is that if you enjoy them and they challenge you, so you can’t do it on autopilot, you really have to think about it, then it really serves you a good goal in terms of supporting your brain health for life,” said Jessica Caldwell, Ph.D., neuropsychologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

According to Caldwell, there is no set amount of time you should play these games, what matters is how often you play them. Logging into one of these apps regularly is what can really benefit your brain health.

However, Caldwell notes that if word game apps aren’t for you, there are other options, such as reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle. Calwell says you can even exercise your brain by watching a documentary and having an in-depth conversation about what you learned with a friend afterwards. Basically, anything that provides a learning experience or a cognitive challenge is fair game.

“In order to keep your memory and your thinking sharp, the key really is challenge and learning. Those are the only ways to really exercise your brain, you develop new neural pathways, you support old neural pathways, so the key is you can’t just be busy,” she said.

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