Coloring books to help adults destress are so 2018. Lego wants to replace your crayons, colored pencils and adult coloring books as a means of relaxation.
Meet Lego Forma, a set of the plastic bricks aimed at an adult market. Sounds great, right? But it has people asking if this is really good for one’s mental health, or just another clever marketing ploy.
In a September press release from the Danish company with U.S. headquarters in Enfield, Kari Vinther, Senior Marketing Manager and Head of Lego Creative Play Lab Pilots says: “Lego Forma is more of a creative project than a toy, and more about display than play. The young adults we speak to tell us they still feel the urge to be creative and enjoy the physical experience of making stuff – but life seems to get in the way. We want to help them rediscover the joy of building that children possess and unleash their imaginations for a couple of hours. We can’t wait to hear what people think and look forward to sharing some of the decisions that will be made along the journey based on consumer input.”
Although the nature-themed Lego Forma sets may inspire creativity and create childhood nostalgia, do they really provide some needed downtime for adults in this technologically busy world?
Patricia Rehmer of the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network says having a creative outlet is always a plus, and that the act of play is greatly underestimated.
“What a great way to just detach for a little while,” Rehmer said. “You’re not going to be on your computer. You’re not going to be on your iPad. You’re not watching TV.”
A study commissioned by Lego surveyed nearly 13,000 people to understand the relationship between well-being and play. The report showed 91 percent of adults say play is good for their own well-being. Eight-six percent say play helps them feel more relaxed. And 87 percent say construction toys such as the Lego bricks help them be creative.
“I think we are just seeing now that some of the activities that we did as children were very effective in helping us feel better,” said Rehmer. “We rode bikes, we colored, we played outside. We’ve all kind of moved away from doing that quite a bit.”
Although the jury is out as to whether Legos — and specifically Lego Forma — improve your mental well-being and work to take away stress, play in general can help, whether it’s in the form of sports, board games or even LEGOS.
If your anxiety is out of control, the Hartford Hospital Institute of Living Anxiety Disorders Center can help. Learn more here.