Walking Improves Creativity

Stanford research found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.

Steve Jobs walkingSteve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), was known for his walking meetings. Walter Isaacson: “We talked a bit about the Aspen Institute, which I had recently joined, and I invited him to speak at our summer campus in Colorado. He’d be happy to come, he said, but not to be onstage. He wanted, instead, to take a walk so we could talk. That seemed a bit odd. I didn’t yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation.”

A new study by Stanford researchers provides an explanation for this. The study found that walking indoors or outdoors similarly boosted creative inspiration. The act of walking itself, and not the environment, was the main factor. Across the board, creativity levels were consistently and significantly higher for those walking compared to those sitting.

The phenomena is not new, see in the following TED video, where Nilofer Merchant suggests to make one-on-one meetings by walking with the person.