Sunday, April 14

Study Shows Playing with Lego Enhances Productivity & Reduces Stress in Adults


If we thought that 2020 was a tough year, 2021 really showed us what tough means. It’s no wonder South Africa’s adults are struggling with stress and mental health challenges, and in turn finding it really difficult to connect with families and friends.

But, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it suggests that playtime may not be over for adults. 85% of parents surveyed in the 2020 Lego Play Well Study said that playing helps them relax and unwind, with 80% saying that it helps them feel more creative. Importantly, 78% of South African parents say that playing keeps them away from consuming too much news — a wonderful distraction when we lose ourselves down multiple social media ‘rabbit holes’.

Also read: Lego Launches Friends Apartments Set

“While the benefits of playing with your children are clear — such as connecting with them and entertaining them, adults don’t need to have children to be able to benefit from play,” says Miroslav Riha, country manager for Lego in South Africa. “Research shows that adults that play with toys enjoy enhanced productivity, reduced stress, and even boosts in memory.”

This is by no means an invitation to head out and buy big and expensive toys, like fast cars or motorbikes — it really is a suggestion to return to the simple things, like sculpting and construction toys, for example. Adults can play by squishing and sculpting play dough, or creating intricate artistic masterpieces, or something a little more structured and meditative, and build a puzzle. There’s also no limit to how adults can play in the kitchen — think of all the variations of banana bread that were highlighted on social media feeds during 2020, there is also no limit to the imagination when icing biscuits and cupcakes!

Lego Treehouse ideas
Another way of delving back into your childhood are construction toys such as Lego sets. “We believe so fervently that adults should play that we’ve designed multiple sets that will strike a chord with adults, whether it’s the nostalgic Lego Creator Expert Friends Apartment or Central Perk sets, Lego Ferrari 488 GTE set, or the Lego Ideas Typewriter,” Riha says. “These sets do more than provide the benefits of play to adults — they help improve mood and mental health by reminding us of simpler or happier times in our lives.”

Whatever your ‘toy’ of choice might be, it’s worth keeping the two things that define ‘play’ in mind: the activity you’re doing must be purely for enjoyment or recreation, and it must be something that’s motivating – you don’t need to be coerced or bribed into doing it.

Friends apartment sets
For play to be ‘successful’, we need to be fully and joyfully immersed in it, and while it’s possible to include elements of play into your meetings — like doodling on a notepad while nobody’s watching — try to set some time aside each day to live in the moment, and just play!

If you’re not sure what or how to start playing, then try to cast your mind back to your happiest memories as a child and return to something that was meaningful to you when you were younger. This could be playing a sport, or it could be meticulously following the instructions to build a toy, or it could be using the toys you have to build something never seen before – even if it’s never to be seen again!

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