7 Benefits of Board Games (for Your Health and Social Life)

You might be wondering what board games will do for you, and if so, you’re in the right place! Board games can provide a lot of benefits for those who play them. But before we dive into more details, I’ve provided a brief overview of the benefits of playing board games for your health and social life, below:

  • Quality family time
  • Community building and friendships
  • Fights loneliness
  • Improves emotional intelligence
  • Improves cognitive health
  • Provides a break from screens, rest for your eyes, and an escape from the digital world
  • Reduces stress and increases overall happiness

If more people knew about the benefits of playing board games, board game nights would become a much more common occurrence in every single family across the world.

In this post, we’re going to look in more detail at each of the ways that playing board games can positively impact your life. We’ll cover the benefits you can expect if you switch out your nightly TV time for board games. First, we’ll start with the social benefits, and then we’ll jump into the health benefits after that.

Social Benefits of Playing Board Games

People think that my husband and I are obsessed with board games. While we do enjoy board games and the benefits they provide, we’re definitely not obsessed with them. We love board games, but we love each other more than we love board games—board games just provide a unique chance for us to interact and engage with each other (our ultimate goal).

My husband and I turned to the board game hobby simply because we were looking for greater connection with one another. And I think one of the biggest impacts that board games can have on your life is through the social benefits that they provide.

1. Quality Family Time

With running to and from different activities, having quality family time can be difficult to achieve these days. Yet, our families are usually the most important to us. Finding an activity that all members enjoy can sometimes be difficult.

But, playing board games is a great activity that all family members (no matter the age or gender) can play and enjoy. Playing board games gives families a chance to look at each other in the eyes and truly just be together. It’s a great opportunity to interact, create memories, and strengthen bonds.

2. Community Building and Friendship

Board games aren’t meant to be played alone (with solo games being the exception), so playing board games is a great opportunity to invite others to join you. On top of that, many board game hobbyists are creating and planning events that will intentionally bring together other members of the community.

On a recent trip to our favorite local game store, I was happy to find out that there’s an upcoming board game convention in my area. It’s one of the great benefits of board gamers—we love to connect with other hobbyists!

So, research and see what events are happening in your community. It’s a great opportunity to build friendships and meet new people who share the same hobby as you.

3. Fights Loneliness

A study that recently came out, exposing that 3 out of 4 Americans are lonely. Let that sink in a bit. We are a lonely country, despite all of the “connectivity” we think we might be experiencing through the internet and social media. It’s likely that you are experiencing loneliness in some way, shape, or form.

Board games provide a structured way to interact with other human beings—something that we all need to do. This interaction that’s provided through board games is a great way to fight the loneliness that most Americans are facing. I love connecting with others through board games, and think you will too!

Health Benefits of Playing Board Games

Now that we covered a few benefits of playing board games that impact your social life, let’s discuss the health benefits of playing board games.

4. Board Games Improve Emotional Intelligence

I covered this more in-depth in a different blog post, but the truth is that board games help to improve your emotional intelligence. In board games, you’re faced with several emotions that commonly arise. And you have the opportunity to be aware of, control, and express those emotions.

You also have to take time to understand and share the feelings of other players. Playing board games give you a chance to exercise and improve your emotional intelligence, which ultimately leads to improved overall health.

5. Playing Board Games Improves Cognitive Health

When playing modern board games, you use a lot of different cognitive functions. You’re faced with many different (and oftentimes difficult) decisions. Players are forced to use logical reasoning and think ahead. All of this works to improve mental agility and strengthen the prefrontal cortex.

Not only that, but learning new board games increases the density of your myelin (Myelin is the white matter of your brain that helps performance on several different tasks.) I mentioned this in another post, but to recap, the greater the density of your myelin, the faster impulses can travel across your brain. This leads to improved cognitive function and better overall health.

6. Board Games Provide a Break From Screens And an Escape From the Digital World

It’s really interesting because many people used to use the digital world (and their phones) as an escape from reality. But now that we’re so engrossed in our phones, it turns out that we need a break from the digital world that most of us seem to “live” in.

We’re using our phones in the mornings and the evenings, but most of us sit in front of screens at our jobs too. Your eyes also need a break from the screens and blue light. Playing board games is a unique form of entertainment that allows you to have a break from the digital world.

7. Playing Board Games Reduces Stress and Increases Overall Happiness

The chance to do something fun with family members and other people you care about, away from the screen, reduces stress. Playing board games with others usually causes you to laugh. And laughing releases endorphins, which are chemicals that our brain releases to make you happy and reduce stress.

On top of that, the results of a recent study revealed something really interesting about social laughter.

Our results highlight that endorphin release induced by social laughter may be an important pathway that supports formation, reinforcement, and maintenance of social bonds between humans. The pleasurable and calming effects of the endorphin release might signal safety and promote feelings of togetherness.

Science Daily

Playing board games gives you a chance to not only laugh, but laugh together! This works to reduce your stress and increase your happiness.

Conclusion: Play More Board Games

Playing board games has so many benefits that you don’t want to miss out on. Start incorporating more board games into your everyday life, and see how it impacts you!

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