5 Benefits of Learning How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube

When you solve your Rubik’s Cube today, your brain will thank you tomorrow.

Aug 17, 2020

Many people own a Rubik’s Cube, a plastic, three-dimensional puzzle. One of the most best-selling toys of all times, Rubik’s Cubes are not only challenging and fun, they are good for you in many ways. 

Many people after trying it a few times place the cube on a shelf, unsolved. According to On The Clock, just 5.8 percent of the population completes this puzzle. But if you solve this puzzle, you can feel accomplished, and become an official “cuber.” So take out your Rubik’s Cube and dust it off today!

The Rubik’s Cube recently celebrated its 40th birthday. Invented by Erno Rubik as an aid for teaching spatial dimensions to college students, 350 million cubes have been sold since it hit the market in 1980! It has garnered such a huge following, according to Rubik’s official site, hobbyists compete in world speedcubing championships each year.

The world record of solving the cube presently goes to Yusheng Du of China. In November, 2018, Du solved the puzzle in a flash of 3.47 seconds, beating the previous record holder by 0.75 seconds! Not to give away spoilers, but you can find out how to solve a Rubik’s Cube online. As the cube has 43 quintillion possible positions, there are many variations to solving this mind-bending puzzle. Here are five reasons why the Rubik’s Cube has won over so many minds:

Improves memory
Solving a Rubik’s Cube improves your muscle memory, according to Hobby Inspired. This is the part of the brain that remembers tasks after repetition. Activities that use muscle memory are typing on keyboards, punching in PIN numbers, playing piano, doing martial arts, even riding a bike. Some cubers can speedily recall up to 10 algorithms can store up to 100 algorithms in their brain.

Improves reflexes
When you consider memorizing 100 algorithms while twisting the cube and solving the puzzle in under five seconds, you will appreciate how quickly the fingers fly. “Speedsolvers” the world-record holders can cross three moves per second. These puzzlers have developed sharp reflexes and incredible hand-eye coordination.

Quick reflexes are not just for cubing; they can help you visually identify items quickly, read, and notice colors faster. Hobby Inspired  reports that cubers can type faster on their computers and message speedily on their cellphones. Working on dexterity and agility can also help aging people who suffer from joint degeneration.

Improves problem-solving
Life is about problem-solving. The basis for this skill is breaking an issue down into smaller parts and addressing each item one by one. With over 43 quintillion options to twist and turn, the Rubik’s Cube could be thought of as a mini plastic universe. When you sit and solve the puzzle, you must focus and turn each section, while realizing that every twist affects subsequent moves.

After much practice identifying patterns, speed puzzler Borkowski commented on Quora that he has improved his math skills. These same abilities can also be applied when learning the grammar of a new language. Puzzlers may be able to find the solution for how to solve a Rubik’s cube, but people who like real challenges love to come up with their own. These are the world’s creative problem solvers.

Improves patience
Face it. This puzzle requires perseverance. It could take hours to solve, or it could end up on a shelf. People who work at this must sit, think, and twist. Then sit, think, and twist again and again. Of course, solving a problem like the cube can lead to a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. When faced with future tasks that are difficult and time-consuming, cubers have the confidence to tackle the job and complete it.

Improves concentration and configuration
When solving a Rubik’s Cube, one must focus. Living in the digital age of flashing screens and beeping phones, it is becoming harder to concentrate on one task for a long time. While solving a Rubik’s Cube, as noted by Hobby Inspired, the brain cells are kept activated.

The cube also improves the brain’s cognitive mapping skills. According to MIT News, “The Rubik’s cube is an instance of what’s called a configuration problem, the best-known example of which involves finding the most efficient way to reorganize boxes stacked in a warehouse.” Go configure!

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NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.