Did you know that you can increase your creativity just by walking? A Stanford Research Study published in 2014 found that the simple act of walking boosted creative output in almost all participants. Researchers Marily Oppezzo, PhD and Daniel L. Schwartz, PhD, conducted four experiments comparing the effect on creativity of walking and sitting. Creativity was boosted by 81% to 100% in subjects who walked, compared to subjects who sat. In one study, walkers were able to generate 60% more divergent ideas than sitters.
The effect persisted even after walking ended and participants sat. What's more, the effect did not depend on whether walkers walked indoors on a treadmill facing a blank wall or outdoors on an attractive college campus.
The researchers suggest that walking to increase creativity may be especially beneficial for people whose careers require the generation of new and novel ideas, or just prior to a brainstorming session.
This research is another indication that action drives state. When we take the physical action of walking, we are changing our state; compared to sitting. we are engaging in an active state that increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and we give our attention the freedom to wander, allowing new connections to develop and thoughts to arise from our subconscious.
Have you found walking to boost your creativity? What ideas have you generated while walking? Post your thoughts in the comments below!