Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Puzzles help 'boost earning power'

Winning a pay rise could be helped by playing puzzles and crosswords

Winning a pay rise could be helped by playing puzzles, crosswords and brain teasers, according to research.

People who keep their brains active not only earn more but hold down more senior positions at work, the study found.

Puzzle makers Jumbo Games found that the average income of puzzlers is £32,073 while non-puzzlers take home 7% less with an average salary of £29,923.

People with an annual income of £45,000 typically puzzle 35% more than those on lower salaries (10.6 times a month compared to 7.9 times a month), while 70% of people earning more than £120,000 puzzle three times a week.

Some 14% of puzzlers said that completing jigsaws and solving mind games such as crosswords and sudokus boosts their concentration at work while a quarter (25%) believe that it gives them an edge over their colleagues.

More than a tenth of managing directors and chief executives questioned (11%) admitted that they have seen a noticeable improvement in their brain power as a result of playing puzzles and brain teasers.

The study found that one in 10 Brits that puzzle (10%) have been promoted in the last six months and nearly a third (28%) have had a pay rise.

Behavioural psychologist Donna Dawson said: "Research shows that completing puzzles and other mental games sharpens the brain by improving concentration, memory, level of alertness, recall of detail, recognition of patterns and speed of reaction time.

"When undertaken with others, improved team-playing is also added to the list of benefits. The brain is much like a muscle - 'use it or lose it' - and in the case of puzzling, the more you do it, the more you create a positive mental domino effect."

:: Jumbo used independent online research company FlyResearch, who surveyed 1,033 British workers aged 18 and over, between August 17 and 19.

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