Need a great idea for a new project or proposal? Try taking a short walk around the block or your office. New research from Stanford University has discovered that when people walk for five to 16 minutes at a comfortable pace, they increase their creativity and ability to generate ideas by as much as 100 percent.
Interestingly, the Stanford scientists found it doesn't matter if you walk inside or out – it appears as though the mere mechanism of walking instead of sitting improves idea generation, says the study's lead author, Dr. Marily Oppezzo. “We think something about physical movement, perhaps the physiological after effects of it, does something to our regulation of associations in our memories. Normally we have a filter that says, "This is relevant, this is now," but it could be that walking sort of relaxes this filter."
Dr. Oppezzo and her colleagues also found study participants were more creative for eight minutes after finishing a walk, meaning a short trip around your office immediately before a big meeting could help you be more imaginative or innovative.