Bridging Wellbeing: Social & Cognitive Benefits


In a partnership between English Bridge Education and Development and the University of Stirling, this research involved an analysis of the social and cognitive benefits of playing bridge. The study was based on a 2016 survey of 7,000 players which was compared with 10,000 non-bridge players.

The key finding was that bridge players have subjectively higher levels of wellbeing than those who do not play. The sample included players of all ages but focused mostly on the 55+ age group, with respondents mainly from the UK.


English Bridge Education and Development, University of Stirling

Online Papers

Bridging Wellbeing

Galbraith, C., Punch, S. and Small, C. (2018) ‘Competition and Mental Exercise in a Mind Sport: Building Bridges of Fun and Friendship’, Aylesbury: English Bridge Education & Development (EBED)

McDonnell, D., Punch, S. and Small, C. (2017) ‘Individual Wellbeing and Bridge: An Empirical Analysis’, Aylesbury: English Bridge Education & Development (EBED)

Ashworth, R., Punch, S. and Small, C. (2016) ‘A Review of Possible Interventions into Healthy Ageing and Cognitive Stimulation: Exploring the Links between Bridge and Dementia’, Aylesbury: English Bridge Education & Development (EBED)

Conference Papers

Bridging Wellbeing

BAMSA (2021) Wellbeing and Bridge, 4th International Bridge Conference, Bridging Academia, Policy and Practice, 28 June 2021, University of Stirling.

Punch, S. and Graham, E. (2019) ‘Enhanced Wellbeing, Healthy Ageing and Social Connection: Motivations for Playing Bridge in the Community’, Leisure Studies Annual Conference, Abertay, 9-11 July 2019

Punch, S., Small, C. and McDonnell, D. (2017)Well-being, Social Participation and Bridge’, First academic bridge conference, Recreational Activity and Bridge in Older People’s Lives, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland, 20-21 April 2017


Bridging Wellbeing