Exploring the effects of Bingocize® for older adults in the UK               

Investigators: Dr Hannah Henderson, Geoff Middleton, Georgia Clay, Anna Mongan & Dr Dan Martin (HART / School of Sport and Exercise) In collaboration with: Dr Jason Crandall & Dr Matthew Shake (Western Kentucky University Center for Applied Science in Health & Aging, USA) and Professor David Broom (Coventry University, UK)

Members of HART were recently involved in delivering the first UK trial of Bingocize®, an interactive game, played on a tablet, using the traditional game of bingo whilst integrating low-level exercise and health education messages. Originating from the USA and developed by Dr Jason Crandall and Dr Matthew Shake from Western Kentucky University, the game is now implemented in 35 US states but had never been trialled in the UK. The aim of this project was thus to trial and investigate the effects of Bingocize® with older adults in Lincolnshire.

The research team partnered with Age UK Lincoln to recruit a group of 11 older adults from the local area. The group participated in Bingocize® twice a week for 10 weeks, with sessions lasting between 45-60 minutes, during which each participant was provided with a small electronic tablet to view the Bingocize® game. A digital game of bingo with a numbered ‘spinning wheel’ was illustrated on screen to enact the traditional game. With each number called, the participant completed an exercise or answered a health-related question before pressing the relevant number on their ‘card’. When a full row of numbers was complete, a winner was declared – but the group would continue to play until the end of the session.

To establish the impact of Bingocize® measures were taken pre- and post-programme. When compared to a similar group not participating in the intervention, the Bingocize® participants improved their agility, speed, flexibility and strength and also found small but significant cognitive improvements. These are encouraging signs that Bingocize® contributes to an improvement in functional fitness for those 60-plus, and informal feedback suggested involvement in the game was a positive experience. With some adaptations, the hope is to explore further opportunities to run Bingocize® with older adults in different community settings.

Findings will be presented virtually at the Optimal Ageing Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in 2021. For further information – see the Bingocize® website.

About Prof Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

Professor in Sociology & Physical Culture, Director of HART, University of Lincoln.

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