Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 6, 2019

Jigsaw Puzzles – Benefits

(3 Minute Read)

People often consider working jigsaw puzzles to be a children’s activity. But jigsaws for adults have grown in popularity over the years. Some jigsaws can be quite difficult and far beyond the capabilities of most children.

Are there benefits of jigsaw puzzles for adults? Are there benefits in addition to enjoyment?

Here’s a picture of a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle we completed recently. It measures 27″ x 20″ and was manufactured by Ceaco.

Peaceful Moments
by Thomas Kinkade

Peaceful Moments by artist Thomas Kinkade (1958–2012) turned out to be the hardest jigsaw we’ve done so far this year in terms of the length of time it took to complete. There were lots of interesting details like the cabin, pickup truck, fire pit, animals, and fishermen. But sections like the sky, water, rocks, and vegetation were surprisingly difficult. My wife says that persisting through challenges like this is good for the soul, and I agree.

Jigsaw Benefits

Solving jigsaw puzzles is good exercise for the brain. Just as physical exercise contributes to physical health, so brain exercise is important for the health of one’s brain.

It’s good exercise for your brain to remember a color pattern while you search for it among pieces. It’s even better to keep a specific shape in mind while searching for it. This improves memory and visual-spatial skills.

Repeated practice in remembering color patterns and shapes reinforces existing neural connections and builds new ones. This improves mental speed and thinking processes.

A University of Michigan researcher showed that a game where players have to remember a sequence of geometric shapes and sounds helped boost IQ. The ability to remember geometric shapes is a key skill used in and developed by solving jigsaws. So solving jigsaws could raise your IQ.

Improvement in visual-spatial skills as a result of solving jigsaw puzzles has practical benefits. These skills are crucial in packing stuff in boxes, car trunks, or rooms. Visual-spatial skills are involved in driving a car, especially when changing lanes, passing, or parking. They are involved in reading maps and transferring map info to the real world. They are valuable in sports, many work activities, and in practically every area of life. Jobs in the trades, crafts, architecture, engineering, arts, and surgery all require good visual-spatial skills.

Solving jigsaws also boosts valuable motor skills including hand-eye coordination.

There are possibly medical benefits as well. Some researchers believe solving jigsaw puzzles can lengthen your life. Some people use them to help themselves fall asleep. Jigsaws seem to provide some relief for people with some types of dementia.

Many research studies have shown that keeping your brain active reduces the likelihood of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. Solving jigsaw puzzles activates your brain in a multitude of ways.

Here is a picture of a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle I worked recently at a campground. It measures 18″ x 14″ and was manufactured by White Mountain Puzzles.

Total Comfort
by Terry Redlin

Total Comfort by artist Terry Redlin (1937–2016) was especially enjoyable to work on with lots of interesting details to absorb one’s attention. Notice the pickup trucks, the various tools, the guns and ammo, the dog, and the signs.

In summary, solving jigsaw puzzles are good for mental and physical health. And they are completely safe. There are no unpleasant side effects like with some medications. And you don’t need a doctor or a prescription to enjoy the benefits. Just pick one that looks interesting to you, set up on a table with a good lamp, and get started.

Questions to Ponder

1. What kind of jigsaw puzzles do you like best?
2. What practical challenge has required you to press on through a process that initially seemed too difficult?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria.

This blog article is the second in an intermittent Series on Jigsaw Puzzles.
Read the prequel:
1. Jigsaw Murder Mystery (with video)

Read the sequel:
3. Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 6, 2019 A.D.

You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (1 Peter 2:5-6)

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  1. Just curious – what do you do with the jigsaw puzzles after you complete them and take a picture? Do you break them up and put them back in the box?

    Do you ever do the same puzzles over again? For some reason I can’t quite figure out, we don’t seem to want to do puzzles a second time.


    • Some puzzles that I have especially liked I have saved in completed form and stored in stacks in large boxes designed for art prints. Some of them are such beautiful pictures that I may glue, frame, and hang them some day. Other puzzles I have broken up and given away or donated. Some I have put in little lending/giving libraries. So far I have never worked a puzzle twice.

      The two puzzles pictured above I have saved. I did not save the two puzzles pictured in the first jigsaw puzzle article. I put “With Grandpa on the Farm” in a little lending/giving library, and it is gone. I broke up the murder mystery puzzle “The Unconventional Murder” and plan to give it away to someone who likes that kind of jigsaw.


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