Boost Your Creativity- Take a Walk in Nature

We all know that walking is good for your health, but did you know that walking can also foster creativity?

In a study published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, using four different experiments, researchers discovered just that. They found that walking (especially in nature) improved the creative responses of their university and college student subjects.

“In Experiment 1, while seated and then when walking on a treadmill, adults completed Guilford’s alternate uses (GAU) test of creative divergent thinking and the compound remote associates (CRA) test of convergent thinking. Walking increased 81% of participants’ creativity on the GAU, but only increased 23% of participants’ scores for the CRA.

In Experiment 2, participants completed the GAU when seated and then walking, when walking and then seated, or when seated twice. Again, walking led to higher GAU scores. Moreover, when seated after walking, participants exhibited a residual creative boost.

Experiment 3 generalized the prior effects to outdoor walking…. Walking—in this case, outside—led to improved creative performance on the GAU….

Experiment 4 tested the effect of walking on creative analogy generation. Participants sat inside, walked on a treadmill inside, walked outside, or were rolled outside in a wheelchair. Walking outside produced the most novel and highest quality analogies. The effects of outdoor stimulation and walking were separable.

Walking opens up the free flow of ideas, and it is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.”

This research shows that walking (especially outdoors) has a wonderful impact on your brain, not just on the rest of your body. Many of us know that there is something truly amazing about getting that blood flowing and reconnecting with nature- now studies such as this one are beginning to prove it.



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