Looking for More Creativity? Start Walking!

I am a pacer. When I need to really think, I pace. I remember before a big high school hockey game that I was coaching, as the game got closer I started pacing as I was going through the different match ups and decisions I knew I was going to have to make. I was driving the poor athletic trainer crazy as he was watching me.

Turns out I might have been on to something!

It is well known that Steve Jobs was a big believer in walking while coming up with new ideas, even going so far as to have walking meetings. Same goes for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Recently, Stanford University did a study that confirmed you think more creatively when you go for a walk.

They took a group of students and over 4 different experiments they had them complete tasks when sitting and walking.

The results were staggering.

In 3 of the studies people were 81%, 88%, and 100% more creative when walking as opposed to sitting. In the fourth study, the subjects that walked were able to come up with one novel idea 100% of the time as opposed to the sitting group that came up with a novel idea 50% of the time.

Why is this…it appears that there is a causal pathway that extends from the physical act of walking to physiological changes to the proximal cognitive process. Got all that? Me neither!

In a nutshell, walking fires up the brain and allows you to break through some creativity barriers.

The study did mention that people were walking with a natural stride and that walking inside on a treadmill vs outside did not show significant differences.

Bottom line is simple…get off the chair and get moving! Your brain will thank you!


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