Through history the best minds have found that walking, whether a quick five minute jaunt, or a long four hour trek, has helped them compose, write, paint, and create. Andrew Tate, a freelance writer and neuroscientist, has posted a super article on Canva, explaining why everyone from Beethoven and Dickens to Darwin and Steve Jobs took long walks and why you should too...
Tate sets out five reasons that walking is one of the best ways you can spend your time, and how it can help you think better, get more done, relate better, and live longer.
1 – It will help make you more creative... It is a common belief that walking helps to generate the best ideas, but now there is scientific evidence to back that up. A 2014 study at Stanford University challenged 176 college students with a creative task whilst sitting and whilst walking. The study found that when people were walking, either on the treadmill or outdoors, they were 60% more creative than when sitting around. What’s more, when the participants took a second test after they had finished the walk, they were still more creative, showing the positive effects of walking continued even after they sat down again.
2 – It will help you stay healthy... Physical inactivity can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and a large number of cancers. It just doesn’t do us any good to sit around all day. In a TED talk, Nilofer Merchant describes sitting as the new smoking in terms of health risks. In fact, walking is as close to a magic pill that we have. Just 30 minutes of walking per day dramatically reduces the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer and dementia.
3 – It will help you be more productive... Meetings on the move or walking meetings are very in vogue at the moment, particularly in Silicon Valley. Steve Jobs was famous for his long walks, which he used for exercise, contemplation, problem solving and for most of his meetings.
4 – It’s a great way to communicate... Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have a common trait; they both like first meetings with people to be on the move. This is because a walking conversation is so much more natural and distraction-free than most other types of meetings.
5 – You will be in good company... Steve Jobs was hardly the first creative genius to discover that ideas flourish on the move. Beethoven was an avid walker, taking short breaks to stretch his legs while working, and then spending his afternoons wandering around Vienna. Charles Dickens could rack up 30 miles a day, or rather night, walking. Charles Darwin had a gravel path installed at his home (pictured), not unlike a race track, that he would walk around each day as he thought about problems. The number of laps he did depended on the difficultly of the problem at hand.
If you are choosing to spend your afternoons rambling in the woods, or chose to take people out for a wander rather than meet in a stuffy office, you know you are in good company. Read Tate’s full article at https://designschool.canva.com/blog/taking-long-walks/
15 November 2015