A few months ago I wrote a short post about what some are calling “the new smoking.” Research seems to indicate that sitting for long periods can be one of the worst inactivities for your health. Now a Stanford study finds individuals are more creative while walking. It seems that in the past people might say they were more creative if they spent time outside, and that might be a first reaction to that statement. “Of course I’m more creative after coming in from smelling the flowers.”
But the study Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking implies it is the act of walking, not the outdoors itself, that produces more divergent thinking. Some study participants walked indoors and still produced more creative ideas, while others were pushed around in a wheelchair outside. Presumably these individuals did not produce an equivalent number of creative ideas. The effect seemed to last for at least a short period of sitting after a walk as well as during the actual activity. Here is a summary of the study http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/april/walking-vs-sitting-042414.html.
Just one more reason to get up and out of your chair when you’re writing. Maybe you’ll come up with a new solution or create an astounding dilemma for your protagonist. And what an excuse to walk around the building or down the street in the middle of the day. Don’t forget your sunscreen. Could a new walking desk set up be down the line?