Walking is one of the easiest options for shedding pounds, and it can improve your health in a number of other ways, too: Taking a stroll boosts your spirits, adds additional exercise to your life, and apparently, it can spark your creative side.
Multiple studies have proven that exercise helps memory and decisiveness, but the New York Times recently reported on a study from Stanford University that took things a step further: The researchers found that stepping away from your desk, even to walk around the office, can do wonders for your the creativity portion of your mind.
Marily Oppezzo, MS, RD, PhD, a professor at Stanford, gathered a group of students, a desk, and a treadmill and put everyone together in a particularly boring room. (We can pretty much picture this.) The students were asked to complete various tests that would measure their creativity, followed by walking on the treadmill facing a wall. While walking on the treadmill, the students were asked to repeat their activities to measure the difference in their thought processes. Almost across the board, the creativity of the students increased during the walk. Dr. Oppezzo tested the students after they had walked too, and the results were similar.
Moral of the story: Taking a break from any rigorous or mind-numbing task to take a stroll can really up your creativity both during and after a walk. The next time you are bored or unmotivated at your day job—or are having a hard time figuring out a solution to a problem—consider walking during your break or planning a brainstorming session on the go. You may stumble upon an answer or come up with a new idea you never considered before!