Creativity isn’t just for those that have opted to be career artists or for the days you’re trying to figure out how to make your mantle look like a magazine. Creativity helps with innovative problem solving, new ideas for that old chair in the corner you’ve considered getting rid of, and how to get the most out of your workday in a clever manner.
Feeling like you can’t channel that creativity? The team at An Appetite for Health posted this piece that finds though a series of research, triggering that creative spark could be as easy as taking a walk! Check it out, be sure to MapMyWalk while you’re out, and let us know your thoughts below.
Want to be more creative? Take a walk!
New research suggests that walking has a positive effect on creative thinking
While researchers have long known that extended aerobic exercise can inspire creativity, researchers at Stanford University set out to see if a more practical exercise prescription – taking a short walk – could have a similar effect.
In a series of four experiments, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, researchers found that simply walking at a natural pace – both in real time and shortly thereafter – gave creativity (defined as the generation of novel yet appropriate ideas) a boost. They observed that the effects were similar whether participants walked outdoors or inside on a treadmill.
What you can do to get more walking in… and boost creativity!
There are a number of ways you can put the results of this study into practice. For example:
- Have a walking meeting for a brainstorming session
- Walk for half of your lunch break to reboot for the afternoon
- Take a few laps around of the office or library when writers block hits
- Take the dog (or just yourself!) for a walk before beginning your project
- Walk around the block to grab a cup of coffee – you’ll get a caffeine boost to boot!
As an added bonus, you’ll be getting more physical activity in your day. It may not seem like much, but every little bit counts!
This post was written by Alyssa Tucci. Alyssa is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology at Columbia University in New York City.
Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014, April 21). Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0036577