Wellness App of the Week: Lumosity

By: Shannon McHale ’15, CRS Weight/Fitness Supervisor

This Week’s App: Lumosity

icon_256App : Lumosity
Price: FREE for basic version, $14.99/month or $79.99/year for full version
For: Apple App Store, Online
Wellness Dimensions: intellectual

Lumosity is sort of like a LeapFrog for grownups. A research lab in California launched Lumosity as a website for “brain training” in 2007, and the mobile app that followed soon after has more than 10 million downloads. Lumosity’s popular brain games develop cognitive skills like memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving.  The best part is that you don’t feel like you’re doing any hard-core studying, since you’re basically playing fun games on your phone and are focused on racking up points.

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Lumosity’s popular brain games develop cognitive skills like memory, attention, speed, flexibility, and problem solving.

The app is super flexible, and lets you choose practical things, like remembering new names or effectively multitasking, that you want to work on. Based on selections you make during setup, your personalized “workout plan” will recommend one game that improves each cognitive skill. You can replay the games whenever you want, or even play games that aren’t in your plan. Each game offers an opportunity to earn points, which are stored in your “brain profile.”

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Example of a “brain profile” on Lumosity

Our Take

Lumosity is a ton of fun, but right now, the mobile app only carries eight of the company’s nearly 50 games. Those eight games are fun, but can get a little old after a week of playing them. Luckily, your mobile profile transfers to Lumosity’s website, so you can play the rest of the games there.

The touch-screen capabilities of the mobile version make the games significantly easier, though, so we recommend using both the online and mobile version to get the most out of this app.

We loved how the app lets you set “workout reminders,” but wished that we could have accessed more of the cool features like that without paying the pricey $14.99 monthly or $79.99 yearly subscription fee.

Lumosity also takes a bit of a time commitment, and although there are studies backing up its success, we weren’t quite sure whether we got any smarter just by playing the games.

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