6 Reasons Why Jigsaw Puzzles Are So Beneficial To Health & Wellbeing
Having more spare time on our hands in recent months meant that the popularity of jigsaw puzzles increased hugely. We know that during the Covid-19 pandemic, people have turned to this traditional pursuit more than ever, with shops recording peak-level sales. During the UK’s first lockdown, department store John Lewis said demand was higher than at Xmas. Other retailers sold out completely.
With a second lockdown looming, the popularity of jigsaws is unlikely to diminish. Fortunately, there are lots of interesting and challenging puzzles for you to get stuck into. Do you fancy tackling a 500 piece puzzle, or even a 1000 piece puzzle? Fine Art America has a huge collection of jigsaw puzzles for adults which you can order online with international shipping.
But as well as helping to pass the time, there are many positive health and wellbeing benefits to completing jigsaw puzzles, some of which may surprise you:
They boost positivity
With puzzles made for all ages, toddlers to the elderly can derive health benefits and pleasure from the challenge of doing a jigsaw. Persevering with a puzzle and completing it successfully brings a sense of achievement and satisfaction that can boost confidence and in turn help raise self-esteem levels. Puzzling can be a solo pursuit that improves general mood, or alternatively can be a group challenge and when generations come together, promoting positive feelings of teamwork and collaboration, as well as providing the opportunity for some mood-boosting social interaction.
They reduce anxiety & aid relaxation
Doing a jigsaw is a meditative activity which lessens anxiety and increases mental wellbeing. There is something very calming about focusing on just one thing. In our busy world where we’re bombarded with 24 hour news, pinging notifications on phones and digital overload etc. a traditional jigsaw can provide some respite and a sense of controlling the chaos. Just the act of switching off and focusing on a single activity instead of trying to multi-task has a significantly soothing effect, providing us with valuable moments of peace which in turn aid mindfulness.
They provide a mental workout & improve memory
Studies show that people who enjoy doing jigsaws (and other puzzles such as crosswords) tend to have longer life spans with less chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The stimulation of the brain seems to ward off these conditions and can help sharpen cognitive ability. Think of it like mental exercise – just as a muscle needs to be worked to stay strong, so too does the brain. There’s evidence that puzzling boosts the memory and IQ as well as improving problem solving, reasoning and decision making. Better visual-spacial skills can help with things like driving and for youngsters there’s the opportunity to learn about different shapes, colours, letters and numbers, which in turn will aid them in school. Learning through play is the best sort of learning!
They help increase dexterity
Playing with puzzles has a significant effect on physical skills – especially in developing a child’s fine motor skills and coordination. This in turn can help them learn to write more easily, as well as playing musical instruments. More advanced hand-eye coordination can help them become better at playing sport too. For more elderly people, increased dexterity comes from picking up and placing puzzle pieces, by helping to keep muscles working, hands and finger joints moving. This can aid independence for longer in terms of the every day tasks we take for granted, such as making a cup of tea.
So as you can see there are many benefits to getting stuck into a good jigsaw puzzle, from giving you a goal and taking away boredom to helping you focus away from everyday worries and stress. If this has inspired you to try one, perhaps having never completed a jigsaw since childhood, why not have a browse through the fabulous and diverse collection at Fine Art America? You can shop various categories, from landscapes to animals, cities to sport… whatever appeals to you and with Christmas coming up soon, a jigsaw puzzle could be a really inspired gift idea. Choose from quality puzzles designed by independent artists or even opt for a custom jigsaw. By uploading your own photos you’ll be able to create custom photo puzzles for a really unique twist!