You read that right: Playing board games can help lower your blood pressure. It probably sounds like an old wives’ tale (it’s not) or some Internet conspiratorial mumbo-jumbo. But even if you’re not a research scientist (and we certainly are not), the correlation between playing games and lower blood pressure isn’t that extreme a concept.

Think about it – what causes, or contributes to, high blood pressure? A plethora of factors, to be sure. Everything from increased sodium intake to stress to genetics. Playing games might well actually help lower stress, and therefore contribute to lowering blood pressure.

Now, this isn’t medical advice and we’d certainly not posit that playing a game once can cure somebody’s chronic blood pressure issues. That would just be silly.

But if you are stressed out, for any length of time, doing things to reduce that stress will help you relax. When you play games, you play with friends or family members (or if you’re lucky enough to live in a place where strangers play chess in the park, then good on you!). So you’re around people you love and enjoy being around.

In that scenario, you’re also laughing. Game play is a great way to take one’s mind off the minutiae of day to day adulthood. You’re not thinking about work, or your car payment, or