Welcome Back Jigsaw Puzzles!
The coronavirus has caused an unlikely resurgence in the demand for jigsaw puzzles. Social media feeds across the world are flooded with posts of housebound families, roommates and couples attempting to complete ambitious 3D puzzles in a bid to keep them stimulated during lockdown.
With the virus confining millions to their homes for weeks, people are attempting to find ways to keep themselves entertained, and there is only so much Netflix a person can watch. People also want to disconnect from technology during these anxiety-provoking times. Puzzles are proving to be the ideal escape for many. Its popularity is overtaking the adult colouring-in book craze which took the world by storm in 2015.
On Instagram, hashtags like #jigsawpuzzle, #puzzlelover, #puzzlesofinstagram and #puzzletime have drawn hundreds of thousands of views. In addition, video-sharing social networking service TikTok shows #jigsaw puzzle has been watched over 1.5 million times.
A Boom in Jigsaw Puzzle Sales
In fact, this classic activity has seen such a spike in demand, many retailers in US are reporting stock shortages. A local puzzle retailer told the Washington Post they sold around 10,000 puzzles per day in March. Ravensberger, one of the world’s biggest puzzle makers, reported that its North American puzzle sales jumped 370% over the past two weeks compared to the same period one year ago. The company has been selling an average of 20 puzzles per minute so far in 2020, compared to 7 per minute for all of 2019. Interestingly, the Great Depression of the 1930s saw a boom in jigsaw puzzles where those laid off were desperate for distractions.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, puzzles were already seeing an uptick in sales. A Market Watch report predicted the jigsaw puzzle industry would increase to $730 million by 2024.
A major reason for this sudden revival in demand for jigsaw puzzles is the wealth of benefits they bring. These include anxiety reduction and ability to boost memory.
We put together 7 major benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles:
Studies, like the MacArthur study, have shown that keeping the mind active with jigsaw puzzles and other activities that engage the mind can result in a longer life expectancy, a better quality of life and reduce chances of developing certain types of mental illness, including memory loss, dementia and even Alzheimer’s Disease.
Increases Collaboration & Cooperation
Another study spearheaded by Yale University found that joint engagement in solving puzzles results in improved collaboration and cooperation. Other studies have shown that involvement in puzzles can promote memory retention and reduce the likelihood of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Jigsaw Puzzles help us with research skills, critical thinking, as well as improving cognitive ability and logical reasoning.
Puzzles keep the mind active and allow the brain to relax to find solutions. Relaxation reduces stress, increases productivity and improves self-confidence. Mindfulness expert Simon Alexander Ong told Wentworth Puzzles that jigsaw puzzles provide a relaxing distraction away from screens and concentrating our attention on the present moment. “This activity allows us to achieve a state of creative meditation as well as leveraging the left (logical) and right (creative) sides of the brain”.
Fine motor skills
In addition to being a fun way to spend time together as a family, puzzles can play an amazing role in your child’s development. Fine motor skills are a necessary part of everyday life. Developing these skills early on eventually help with handwriting, drawing skills and musical instruments. Jigsaw puzzles are an excellent way to improve fine motor skills.
Completing a jigsaw works both sides of your brain – the logical left-hand-side and the creative right side. When you piece together a jigsaw puzzle, you give yourself a real ‘brain workout’.
Jigsaw puzzling promotes increased productivity because we get to practice calm concentration. They allow us to become less distracted and more productive.
For all those jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts looking to get their hands on their latest challenge, leading online retailer Raru has a variety of 3D and flat jigsaw puzzles for sale and will be delivering after lockdown. You can also browse our store directory for other options.