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Walk Therapy

Improve your creativity with a short hike

Author Jacqueline Detwiler

factStrolling has long been a tool of writers and philosophers. Many of them—from William Wordsworth to Mark Twain—have had their most brilliant ideas while ambling about. Now Stanford researchers have found scientific evidence supporting the practice. In an article in the April issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, four studies showed that people came up with between 81 and 100 percent more potential uses for an object (a button, say) while walking than while sitting down. In one study, they also created more high-quality linguistic analogies, a boon for writers. Overall, the increase in creativity persisted if people performed the task again after returning to a desk, and it appears to happen regardless of whether people walk indoors or out. Everybody who votes for the budget meeting to be held in the park, please raise your hand.

One Response to “Walk Therapy”

  1. David Says:
    August 10th, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I read this article yesterday on a flt. It totally works! I’ve been challenged with a mechanical design problem for a couple of months. I did a fast walk for 5 miles this morning… returned to my desk and BINGO… the solution absolutely flowed to my pencile.

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