Great Minds In Motion
Walking allows us to improve our creativity and improve our life habits. Humans have had an innate understanding of this but now scientists have found evidence that helps to explain why.
The famous composer Ludwig van Beethoven used to go for walks after lunch. He always carried a pen and some papers with him in order to write down the notes that might come to his mind during those inspired moments.
A similar method was used by his colleagues; musical greats such as Gustav Mahler and Benjamin Britten. Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple is famously known for his walking meetings. The same goes for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who has also been spotted conducting meetings on foot.
So if walking inspires the greatest of creative minds, could it work for the rest of us as well?
Apparently, it does!
We all encountered creative blockade when we tried to come up with something new. But maybe we haven’t been aware of the power of simple habits like walking in problem-solving and boosting our creativity.
A study co-authored by Marily Oppezzo, a Stanford doctoral graduate in educational psychology, and Daniel Schwartz, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Education, found that walkers recorded an average of 60 percent better results related to creativity of divergent thinking in relation to the results achieved while sitting.
Do It Before The Next Big Meeting
Researchers ran four studies with a variety of people who walked either indoors or outdoors. All studies came up found the same conclusion – walking boosted participants’ creativity. As well, it was proved that walking has a residue effect on our brain. The participants were still creative afterwards.
That means you should use these benefits and maybe go for a walk before your next big meeting and start brainstorming just right after. It does not matter whether the walk takes place outdoors or indoors, as the end result will be the same: enhanced creative thinking.
Professor Daniel Schwartz was surprised by these results, as he believed that walking outdoors would result in much better creative thinking than walking on a treadmill in a “small, boring room”.
Regardless of where the walk takes place, it actually doubles the flow of creative thoughts in relation to sitting.
5 Tips For Making Best Results
- Pick a problem or a topic for brainstorming, since you want to find a new perspective on the walk
- Walk at a comfortable pace while you are brainstorming
- Do not lock on one idea, have as many as possible. That is the key of creativity
- Speak and record your ideas
- Cap your time. If the idea is not coming to you while you walk, come back to it at another time.
Marily suggested: “Why don’t you grab a leash and take your thoughts for a walk?”