Don’t you hate when you hit a creative block? It feels like your brain isn’t working and you can’t seem to pull an idea out of your head. How can you come up with new innovative ideas when nothing comes to mind?


We already know that the mind and body are connected in many ways; this isn’t new information. But what does that have to do with generating creative thoughts and ideas? Well, there’s something about moving your body that gets your mind moving as well. By the title of this post, you already caught the hint, we’re talking about walking here.


This explains why Steve Jobs was known to hold walking meetings. Same goes for Mark Zuckerberg who has been spotted holding meetings on foot. There’s something progressive and productive about walking and thinking of new ideas, concepts, and solutions.


A study done by Stanford University researchers have proven that walking increases creative ideation by 60% – that’s awesome! Such an easy and simple addition to your day can get your mind overflowing with cleverness. The interesting thing about this study is that while it proved walking to help with divergent thinking, it also showed that it worsens focused thinking compared to sitting, “for instance, given the words “cottage, Swiss and cake,” the correct answer is ‘cheese.’” It only drastically improved divergent thinking of new innovative ideas.


The study looked at a combination of scenarios with people performing mental tasks while walking versus sitting. To determine if productivity is due to motion in an outdoor environment, combinations of walking outdoors and sitting outdoors while being pushed in a wheelchair were also observed. The study also looked at people walking on a treadmill facing a blank white wall compared to sitting down facing a blank white wall. The mental tasks included coming up with complex analogies, “for example, for the prompt “a robbed safe,” a response of “a soldier suffering from PTSD” captures the sense of loss, violation and dysfunction. “An empty wallet” does not.” They also had to think of alternative uses for a given object, “for example, a “tire” could not be used as a pinkie ring.”


Not saying everything you need to do needs to be in motion, it doesn’t work for all types of thinking – just divergent thinking and generating creative and innovative ideas. So when you have a creative block, take a walk outside and get those juices flowing!


Get more creative and walk!