10 Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

10 Health Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

Though youngsters may turn to electronic devices for gaming and puzzles, the popularity of jigsaw puzzling is on the rise. Many adults are finding them a great way to unwind and to challenge their brain in a new way. Even celebrities like, Sir Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and Rory McIlroy find them stimulating! So here are 10 health benefits of jigsaw puzzles:

  1. Improved Memory


The science bit, solving puzzles strengthens the existing connections between our braincells. It also improves the generation of new connections. As a result, mental speed and though process improves. Jigsaw puzzles are particularly good at improving short term memory. Puzzlers must remember certain shapes and colours and where they fit into the puzzle. They need to visualize the finished piece to see how the pieces slot together.

  1. Better Visual-Spatial Reasoning

As mentioned above, when solving the jigsaw, we look at different pieces and figure out where they fit into the larger picture. This helps to improve our visual-spatial awareness. This is a skill we use regularly in everyday life, for example, driving a car, packing a box or suitcase, map reading etc.

  1. Improved Problem-Solving Skills

Puzzles require us to take different approaches to solving them. The end goal is to complete the puzzle, but there are many different paths we can take to do this. Fitting the correct pieces together can be a matter of trial and error. We learn the importance of formulating theories, testing them, and adapting when the plan does not come together. These skills can be transferred to the workplace, making us more adaptable and innovative employees.

  1. Increased Attention to Detail


Often, when completing a jigsaw puzzle, the pieces can look remarkably similar in colour or cut. Paying attention to the details, the subtle differences, help us solve the puzzle. An ability to pick up on the finer details is a great skill to have in our work life. Our quality of work can literally improve!

  1. Increase Your IQ

Dr. Susanne Jäggi, from the University of Michigan, led a team of researchers to investigate the benefits of puzzling. They found that spending just 25 minutes a day doing a puzzle, can increase your IQ levels by 4 points.

  1. Meditative Benefits


Completing a jigsaw can have a similar effect on you to meditation. It generates a sense of calm and peace, a form of mindfulness. By concentrating on the puzzle alone, our minds are cleared of other stresses and anxieties we may be facing.

  1. Increased Productivity

When we are stressed or agitated, we find it harder to concentrate. When concentration improves, productivity can soar! Taking time out from work or school to work on a jigsaw puzzle, is therefore a great way to reset the brain. Even a few minutes can help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle anything!

  1. Independence

Completing a jigsaw puzzle is a fantastic solo past-time, particularly if you live alone. It is easy to become absorbed into completing the puzzle, and the hours can whizz by! The satisfaction you feel as you slot that final piece of the puzzle in place, is second to none! What a great emotional buzz.

  1. Social Skills

Likewise, completing a puzzle with family, friends or work-colleagues is a great way to improve teamwork. Build collaboration through discussion and interaction. Researchers at Yale University found that solving puzzles at work improved relationships and the ability to co-operate together.

  1. It is Fun!

Every time we place a piece into the correct place, we get a release of Dopamine into our system. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and optimism. Our brains move from a ‘Beta’ state (wakeful) to an ‘Alpha’ state (the same state we are in when dreaming) when puzzling. This lowers stress levels and improves our mood. Finally, what a great feeling, completing the challenge and seeing the puzzle in its full form!

So, after reading the 10 health benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles, what’s not to love? Start reaping the benefits of completing a jigsaw puzzle today! They are a complete work out for your brain, exercising both the left and right sides. They will improve your cognitive function, can delay the onset of Alzheimer and Dementia, and will certainly help you to chill out! We stock a lovely array of Gibsons Jigsaw puzzles here at Sweet and Nostalgic, so come and have a look and start puzzling!





Gibsons Jigsaws – Jigsaw Puzzles through the Decades

Jigsaw Puzzles through the Decades – Gibsons Jigsaws

Gibson Jigsaws at Sweet and Nostalgic

Jigsaw puzzles, a source of entertainment, education, frustration, joy and definitely of achievement (once they are completed, of course!). Many of us are first introduced to jigsaw puzzles when we are little. Who remembers the thick wooden shapes that, as infants, we carefully slotted into the right place, much to our parents’ delight? For some of us, the lure of completing that seemingly impossible task never leaves. Jigsaw puzzles for adults remains a popular pastime, despite this age of technology!

What’s the history of Jigsaw puzzles?

We can thank a London Cartographer, John Spilsbury, for creating jigsaw puzzles for commercial markets. In the 1760s he mounted maps onto hardwood, then cut them along the boundary lines. He created a puzzle useful for teaching geography. These puzzles were known as ‘Dissections’. The name ‘Jigsaw’ became associated with the puzzle around 1800, when fretsaws became the tool of choice for cutting the shapes. The name appears to be a misnomer therefore, as fretsaws are distinct from jigsaws! In the late 1800s the first cardboard jigsaw puzzles appeared. These were slow to replace wooden puzzles, as manufacturers feared they would be perceived to be of inferior quality. The profit margins on wooden jigsaws were larger too!

When did jigsaw puzzles become popular?

Jigsaw puzzles through the decades remained a source of amusement, but it was during the Great Depression when the popularity of jigsaw puzzles escalated. They provided a cheap, long-lasting, recyclable form of entertainment. The complexity of the Jigsaw puzzles flourished too, making them more appealing to adults. Companies saw value in jigsaw puzzles as marketing tools. Often they were Gibson Jigsaw Wall Ice Creamgiven away in product promotions and in advertising. Customers then completed the image of the product being promoted,for example, our new Walls’ Vintage Ice-cream Jigsaw puzzle made by Gibsons.

When did Gibsons start making jigsaw puzzles?

Gibsons Games were established in 1919. However it was 1986 before they first launched their jigsaw puzzle range! Gibsons Jigsaws quickly became very popular on the market. Gibsons rebranded in 2002 and their boxes changed. Their blue boxed puzzles, are the ones we are all familiar with today. By this time, they had over 250 titles in their Gibsons Jigsaw collection.

Here at Sweet and Nostalgic we sell a small range of Gibsons Jigsaws. In keeping with our ethos they depict nostalgic and sweet memories. We love the retro brands and of course Jigsaws through the decades. The puzzles have between 500 and 1000 pieces. Whilst you may think a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle is a challenge, spare a thought for the World record holders! The University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam are the Guinness World Record holders. They put together a jigsaw puzzle depicting a lotus flower, with the most ever pieces. The puzzle consisted of 551,232 pieces, was just over 48ft x 76ft and was put together by 1600 students on 24th Sept 2011! Suddenly a 1000piece Jigsaw puzzle doesn’t seem so daunting, does it?!