Picture this: you're pressing up against a creative deadline that is in just a few hours and you've got nothing. At this point you probably couldn't even recognize a good idea if it slapped you in the face. We've got the solution for you: go for a walk! You may be thinking that a walk is the very last thing you should be doing in the midst of a project that is quickly approaching its deadline. You may think we're crazy to even suggest getting away from your desk or computer let alone getting away from the office to go for a leisurely stroll. But the truth is while most people agree that walking is good for your health it can also boost your creativity and may even help you drum up that idea you've been fighting for all day.
New research published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology shows that walking does even more than help you get a breath of fresh air and change of scenery - it also has a direct effect on creativity and brainstorming. Four experiments were conducted to "demonstrate that walking boosts creative ideation in real time and shortly after" and the results were overwhelmingly positive.
In one study a group of subjects were asked to take a test that measures creativity during which each subject is given an object and instructed to brainstorm uses for that object. Test subjects took the test for a first time were given a few minutes to walk around outside and then were asked to take the test again. The results? Pretty significant. Creativity increased for almost every test subject after their quick walk. And it wasn't just a little spike either. According to the study subjects found up to 60% more uses for their object.
And it gets even better. Creativity didn't just improve while people were walking but after as well. Many subjects continued to brainstorm and have more creative ideas even after sitting back down -- and think about how many more ideas they may have had if they had moved back to a standing desk instead of a normal old sitting desk!
Researchers also found that while walking outside is certainly preferable to many people it doesn't actually matter if you take a nice long walk outside or a 10 minute walk inside your office. Although we'd all probably rather be outside we can generate just as many great ideas after a walk indoors...or maybe even with a treadmill tucked under our height adjustable desk. At the end of the day researchers aren't totally sure exactly why walking boosts creativity but they know it does. They suggested that it may be related to the endorphins that get released with physical activity to boost your mood or because walking can give your brain a much-needed distraction and let your mind wander just long enough to come up with something new and innovative.
How can the UpDesk help you cultivate this creative walking habit? For one thing working from a stand up desk like the UpWrite or the SquaredUp our new standing corner desk can greatly increase your chances of getting more walking time throughout the work day. Think about it - if you were sitting slouched over at your desk eyes glazing over your computer screen you might be less likely to want to get up and take a walk even if it would help get your creative juices flowing. But if you're already standing while working it's easy as pie to take a quick stroll around the office or hop outside to re-calibrate and refocus your creative energies.
So kick out that sitting computer desk and give us a call to get standing and walking and creating today!