Of all the tips and tricks we’d heard for finally beating that creative block, taking the dog for a walk wasn’t at the top of our list… until now. A new study from Stanford has found that not only does a walk give you a fresh perspective, but it can also increase your creative output by an average of 60%. That’s significant enough to make us want to take a lap around the block now. You don’t even have to find a pristine walking trail for this magical creativity exercise to work. Researchers showed that it didn’t matter if participants were walking on a treadmill or outside; the results were the same. The study involved 176 college students and adults who completed creative thinking tasks in a range of situations, including walking or sitting indoors.
However, it’s not just the physical movement that seems to trigger the creative outflow. Individuals being pushed in a wheelchair experienced the same visual movement as walking. But you don’t have to walk all day to keep the creative juices flowing. The benefits of your walk will last long after you come back to your desk, hopefully helping you power through those last few hours of work. Students who may be studying for a test, take note: The study did not have a positive effect on the kind of focused thinking required for single, correct answers.
We know that the body has a powerful influence on our mental well-being, and this study is just another example of how important it is to get away from our desks and stretch our legs every now and then. Get creative with it and turn a meeting at work into a walking one, or take a few minutes during your lunch break to walk around the block. Sitting too often is unhealthy, and even just adding a few minutes of physical activity to your day can be beneficial, not only for your health, but also for your creativity.
How do you work little walking sessions into your day? Talk to us in the comments below!