If you need to boost creativity or you’re craving a fresh perspective to a problem, a new study has shown that a humble walk is one of the best ways to achieve these improvements.
The recent study from Stanford University showed creativity levels in people rose by 60% if they walked as opposed to being seated, indicating the benefits for productivity and decision making.
Melbourne-based Educational Kinesiologist and Brain Gym® educator, Chris Bozkewycz, says creativity involves a series of steps from idea generation to execution and the mere act of walking can enhance this process.
“We’ve known for some time that aerobic exercise protects long-term cognitive functioning but now a mild form of exercise such as walking has been proven to deliver great advantages.”
She explains that the movement of the body can create a state of active relaxation which improves concentration and assists with organisation of thought processes and ideas.
Bozkewycz says this is tied to the way the two sides of the brain operate. “For the majority of people, the right hemisphere is the generator of ideas while the left hemisphere is more focused on details and is the seat of most language function.
She says it is also the left hemisphere that sorts, organises and puts form and structure to the wonderful ideas being generated in the right side of the brain and then enables them to be expressed in either written or verbal form.
“Walking, jogging and other activities that use the two sides of the body simultaneously activate both hemispheres at the same time. As a result, creativity and performance are enhanced, ideas flow more freely and problem solving skills are strengthened,” she adds.
10 facts about the brain that may surprise you
1. Fact or fiction? The recent film ‘Lucy’ suggested we only use 10% of our brains. This is fiction. We actually use all of our brains at any given time but in different ways.
2. There is no such thing as multitasking. This is true. You can be doing multiple things unconsciously like driving and talking but it is impossible to give 100% attention to more than one task at any given time.
3. The human brain is the only organ that feels no pain. There are no pain receptors in the brain and that's why brain surgery can be performed while you're awake.
4. The brain is known as the fattest organ in the body and is made up of 60% fat. Even though it is only 2% of your body weight, it uses 20% of the body's energy to work.
5. Excessive stress can alter your brain’s structure and ability to function.
6. The more negative things you think the more you will think them because your brain is laying down neural pathways of either negative or positive thoughts.
7. The left side is rational and the right is creative. If you stub your left foot the right side of your brain will process the pain pain and vice versa. Men's brains are 10% larger than women but there are more nerve cells and neural connectors within women’s brains. Research indicates that mens’ brains are more logical while women’s are more emotional.
8. The brain is more active when you sleep and that's why a nap can energise us. Night time is when our brain processes all of the activity from the day which is why we dream. People with higher IQs have been found to dream more.
9. Most people dream about 1-2 hours a night and have an average of 4-7 dreams each night.
10. Five minutes after a dream, half of the dream is forgotten. Ten minutes after a dream, over 90% is forgotten. Write down your dreams immediately if you want to remember them.