By Regina Garson
A study (conducted at Stanford University) just came out proving a positive relationship between walking and creativity. It was a solid study and they did all kinds of creativity measuring tests on people before and after walking.
The study was interesting to me in that I have been both a lifelong walker and a lifelong creative. Since maybe the age of four, I would take off in the woods by myself. This did not please my parents, or the poor woman who was supposed to be taking care of/watching me. But there is no doubt I spent a lot of time walking through the woods when I was growing up and was mostly always considered pretty creative -- at various times music, art, and writing -- and which tended to vary during different phases of my life.
With the creative juices continuing to flow, you can believe I was in my element when I got older and discovered that thing they call “hiking.”
Curious though, since my choking accident, with the odd course of internal injuries, walking has not always been successful and frequently a miserable failure – to the point of curtailing its practicality. Needless to say, there hasn’t been a whole lot of hiking either, but earlier in the week, I had to go to the mall, and actually did a short mall walk swing through with no residual issues. So all is not hopeless, just taking longer than one would like on the recovery.
What makes me wonder though is, from the feedback with the various, my creativity has not suffered, or it could be it has, since some of the more recent feedback on my writing has been that it is very solid for somebody in the shape that I was in. Whatever that means. I know I have probably pushed a few edges at times in my life on the creatively. My recently released short story ebook, Journey, was not by the way recently written, but there is no doubt, I went about as far out on a creative limb as I have ever been on that one, definitely not my usual high tech or political discourse.
Anyway, this recent study was interesting to me in consideration of the shape that I have mostly been in over the last couple of years and whether or not I was even able to do much walking. The Tai Chi has mostly continued though, so it is not like I have been completely sedentary, just that I haven’t been able to walk as I liked during much of the time since the accident and the study was specifically on walking as it relates to creativity.
In that light, I find the study extremely interesting and I don’t actually doubt it, but I also wonder about other people’s experiences who were creative types and who, for whatever reason, experienced a change in their physical ability level and whether that also affected their creative output.
For more information see:
Also, here’s a link to the study:
- Give Your Ideas Some Legs: The Positive Effect of Walkingon Creative Thinking by Marily Oppezzo and Daniel L. Schwartz