Childhood games can help grown-ups 'play the stress away'

A new study by Lego finds that learning to have fun again may be the key for overwhelmed adults who find it hard to unwind

2020-11-25 06:00:00 PM

A new study by Lego finds that learning to have fun again may be the key for overwhelmed adults who find it hard to unwind

A new study by Lego finds that learning to have fun again may be the key for overwhelmed adults who find it hard to unwind

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“It's perceived that for adults, play is an unproductive, frivolous or pointless act,” says Kate Dodd, an HPCSA-registered Art Therapist. “In my experience where play, creativity and imagination are inherent to my practice, I find that to be untrue. Not only is it through creative play and imagination that a child learns, is able to self-regulate, process emotion, find enjoyment and socialise, the same applies to adults. There's a lot of research to support this.”

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The Lego Play Well Study was conducted between May and June this year. In the end, the 15-minute online quantitative survey was taken by 18,435 adults — 1,048 of whom were South African — who answered questions that ranged from, “Thinking about the last year, how often has stress impacted the following aspects of your life?” to “What, if anything, prevents you from doing more childhood activities/games?”

The study found that adults are overwhelmed. One out of two admit that stress affects key aspects of their life and that they struggle to relax. As a result, the study found that the majority dream of escaping their everyday life. And yet the data showed that we find unwinding hard. Most adults spend time researching how to destress, yet only few spend time actually distressing, and three out of 10 who do figure out how to relax only spend five hours a week doing so. headtopics.com

“With the stress, seriousness and responsibility that life often holds for adults, the activity of play becomes neglected,” says Dodd. “Along with the false idea that this activity is for the realm of childhood. Adults often believe they don't have time or they carry self-doubt and judgment, which inhibits the opportunity to be spontaneous and playful.”

One of the standout findings in the Lego study shows that adults abstain from play for fear of being judgedOne of the standout findings in the Lego study shows that adults abstain from play for fear of being judged. One out of every two believe that it's not socially acceptable for adults to play. Furthermore, few describe themselves as very creative (27%) and 70% feel that others have more creative confidence than they do. In fact, one in two (54%) held back on pursuing their dreams because of a lack of creative confidence.

“Many adults, due to Ltd views about creativity at school, were made to believe that they weren't creative,” says artist, educator and “play facilitator” Anthea Moys. She echoes the beliefs of Sir Ken Robinson who in his Ted talkDo Schools Kill Creativity

states that “We don't grow into creativity we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out of it.” Read more: Times LIVE »