Juggling makes you smile, makes other people smile too. It can be entertaining, meditative, breath-taking and sometimes mystifying. It can help develop hand/eye co-ordination, force you to be a little more active and can expose you to groups of colourful, creative and motivated people. It can help grow self-confidence, spatial awareness and a sense of play. Juggling communities offer fun, safe spaces, where working to better yourself is always supported and encouraged, mostly in non-competitive ways.

 

This may seem like pretty obvious stuff, but the benefits of juggling go beyond that. In 1903 Edgar James Swift published an article in the American Journal of Psychology suggesting that there were benefits of juggling for the human brain. A little over a century later and researchers at the University of Oxford were able to prove that there was growth of white matter, the bundles of nerve fibers that connect different parts of the brain, as a result of learning to juggle. Amazing!

 

More recently professor Maarten Frens and juggler Harm van der Laan came together to geek out about juggling and explain some circus-based science research about the complex links made in the brain when someone juggles or even see's juggling. Fascinating work from Erasmus University and certainly worth a watch.