Walking raises creativity

Walking raises creativity

It is well known that exercise is good for you. But plenty of people do not take exercise. One of the reasons for this is that exercise takes time out of your day. If you are running a business or employed creatively, then new research suggests that you can take exercise without reducing your creative productivity. In fact, walking will increase your creative ideas.

Walking has been shown to be an excellent form of exercise, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, reducing cognitive decline and improving mental health.

Studies by researchers at Stanford university have shown that the flow of creative ideas is improved by 60% whilst walking on average. One study found that the effect could be as large as 100%.

The link between walking and creativity was strongest while walking outside, but even walking indoors on a treadmill produced an significant improvement.

Many business leaders anecdotally claim that they do their best thinking while walking. The 18th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once even stated that “all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking”!

Walking raises our production rate of creative yet relevant ideas and the increased rate continues when we sit down and write after walking.

Previous research has shown that regular exercise helps with mental processing and with exam performance. The effect is particularly strong with performance in mathematics, suggesting a strong effect on logical thinking as well as creative idea flow.

Added to the well documented evidence that a high quality diet improves cognition, the findings offer strong support for the idea that personal development is best when it draws up on all, or at least many, factors at once.

It seems the healthiest and most efficient growth is well rounded growth.


More information can be found here:

Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 4, 1142-1152.