Next time you’re about to write a test, don’t stay glued to your seat. To get your creativity flowing, take a walk, suggests a new study published online in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Researchers conducted four experiments to yield results. Participants in the first experiment took the Guilford’s Alternative Uses (GAU) test. They were expected to produce alternative ways of using an object while sitting and again walking indoors on a treadmill. Walking yielded 81% creative responses compared to sitting.
A controlled group participated in the second experiment for practice effects who sat for two different versions of the GAU tests. Some walked for two versions of the test while some walked for the first test and then sat for the second test. Once again, walking before a test proved to have a residual improvement in creativity.
Outdoor walking was added to the third experiment. In the fourth, using the remaining participants, researchers compared levels of creativity of those who sat inside or those who were wheeled outside in a wheelchair with those who walked outside or on a treadmill. Those who walked had higher levels of creative thought once again.
Authors say study findings suggest walking as a way to increase creativity (as well as physical activity).