Playing puzzles and doing crosswords can mean you take home a bigger salary, according to research

Brain teasers, puzzles and crosswords could help you boost your wage packet, according to research.

Those who make sure their minds are active not only bring in more pay, but have higher positions in the workplace, the Jumbo Games study revealed.

The puzzle makers found that the typical income of people who puzzle is 32,073, while those who don't complete puzzles have an average salary of 29,932.

Puzzle players who earn 45,000 each year, on average, turn to the mind exercises 35% more than people who earn less money.

They play them 10.6 times each month, in comparison with 7.9 times each month, according to the research.

Of those on an annual salary of more than 120,000, more than two thirds (70%) open a puzzle book three times each week.

Almost one in six (14%) of puzzlers say that playing with jigsaws and completing crosswords and sudoku puzzles increases their focus in the workplace.

On in four (25%), meanwhile, believe completing puzzles gives them an edge over fellow workers.

More than one in 10 managing directors and chief executives who were asked (11%) said they had seen their brain power improve noticeably due to completing brain teasers and puzzles.

According to the study, 10% of Britons have been promoted at work in the last half a year, and almost one in three (28%) have had a wage increase.

Donna Dawson, a behavioural psychologist, 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."

FlyResearch carried out the study, commissioned by Jumbo Puzzles. A total of 1,033 British workers, aged 18 plus, were surveyed between August 17 and 19. :

Copyright Press Association 2012