Playing chess has a host of benefits. Social skills, emotional skills, and problem solving can all be improved by introducing chess clubs into schools. There are also some lesser known, yet undeniably important health benefits as well.
Health Benefits of Chess for ADHD
ADHD is a disorder that affects ~7% of people. Especially in a school environment, ADHD can be a huge challenge to traditional learning and social growth. Over the past decade, using chess as a treatment tool for ADHD is being explored by scientists all over the world. In 2016, a study involving more than 100 teenagers with ADHD found a significant increase in attentiveness when engaging with a particular chess game. Perhaps inspired by these results, we’re seeing tailored ADHD treatments involving chess exercises on the rise.
Does Chess Delay Dementia?
Scientists have also been exploring the idea of chess as a tool to delay cognitive decline. Although studies show now direct effect once an individual is diagnosed with dementia, the story is different if chess is taken up before diagnosis. In a study titled “Chess Practice as a Protective Factor in Dementia”, the authors suggest that “chess could lead to prevention [of dementia] in non-diagnosed populations”
Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Chess
Have you ever wondered how many calories one might burn during a high-intensity chess tournament? Dr.Sapolsky, a biologist at Stanford University suggests that a player can burn up to 6,000 calories over the course of a full day tournament! Not only that, but the cardiovascular implications are huge as well. This surprising health benefit comes into focus when Dr. Sapolsky speaks about Grandmasters:
“Grandmasters sustain elevated blood pressure for hours in the range found in competitive marathon runners.”
While our students aren’t marathon runners, we’re happy to know that chess can have such profound effects on mental and physical health. If you’re looking to get your child involved in chess, get in touch to start a chess club in their school, or enroll in our private and group lessons today.