Scientific American has explained in detail how mental stimulation, like the kind promoted by brain teasers and riddles found in escape rooms, can help make your brain stronger and faster. It also helps to reduce the risk of dementia and memory problems later in life. That research also shows that socialization, or working together as a team, can have the same positive effects. So by socializing while solving brain teasers, you’re essentially getting twice the brain exercise at the same time!
But what’s even cooler is that science shows five different areas of your brain that can be improved by brain training - and escape rooms can help you work on each!
1. Speed - Because you only have 60 minutes to escape, you are automatically led to work on the speed of your thinking and problem-solving! Learning to manage the pressure from this time limit is part of the reason it helps your brain so much.
2. Memory - One element of escape rooms that makes them challenging is that you have to constantly remember what you’ve found. Sometimes, you may find a clue or a piece of a puzzle that you won’t need for another half an hour! Recalling all of the information you’ve found is vital when managing to escape.
3. Attention - While you’re solving your own puzzles, you also have to be listening to your team members so you can be aware of what they’re working on! Otherwise, you’ll miss out on important links between the clues you’re finding. Heightened adrenaline helps with this, especially within the timed setting of the escape room.
4. Flexibility - It might sound silly, but when you can’t figure out a puzzle in the escape room, what do you do? You switch with a team member who can help you. You learn to take turns, share clues, and think in ways you aren’t used to. All of these help improve your flexibility.
5. Problem Solving - The whole purpose of the escape room is to solve the problem - how do you get the locks off the door? How do you find the information you need to escape? This is probably the biggest area of brain teasing improvement that escape rooms work on, and the one that also depends the most on your ability to work as a team!
There you have it - five different parts of your brain that doing escape rooms can help improve. All of these will make your mental capacities stronger, faster, and more ready to face life outside of the escape room. The next time you escape, you can be proud that you’re actively training your brain!