by Vasco Duarte
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a story about coffee and how I think a walk to the great coffee place a block away is a very useful exercise. So when I came across this article on FastCompany.com called How Taking A 20-Minute Walk Every Day Transformed My Approach To Work I was pretty intrigued. It’s all about walking benefits and fighting ‘sitting disease’.
The story: Rachel Gillett and her colleagues at FastCompany performed a test; every day they took a 20 minute walk to see if it would restore energy, focus and creativity. Quite a challenge since, and I like this quote, “Looming deadlines have a way of making a walk in the park seem inconsequential”.
Actually, I’ve been familiar with the benefits of walking. When my ghostwriter was teaching copywriting he told me he came up with the idea of Concepting by Wandering Around since it had worked for him in the past. It worked quite simple: his students had to pair up, read a creative brief and were sent outside with nothing more than their wits and a couple of coasters. (From a Dutch saying: a good idea should fit on a coaster, as you often get the best ideas in a bar.) Walking around while talking about the problem helped the students not to lose their focus and they came up with great solutions, written down in one sentence. After my ghostwriter read this article, he knew why it worked.
So how did walking around work for Rachel Gillett? It indeed helped her focus and it did wonders for her creativity and freethinking. She also tells us that scientists found out walking increases creative thinking with 60%. I know quite some students who agree. So what can you do? Don’t get tempted by urgent, choose for important and just go out for a walk every day.
Image: Bernt Rostad, Creative Commons 2.0