Will Burns
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Unleash Creativity Blog

Scientific studies that help us unleash our most human attribute: creativity.

The Science Behind Why Walking In Nature Boosts Creativity

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Are you the type of person who finds a walk in the woods gets your creative juices flowing? Well, you're not alone and I may have figured out the science behind why it works.

It's fun to believe that nature has an energy, an inherent inspiration, or a vibe that we humans can tap into. And just being amongst nature's wonders almost magically inspires creative thoughts.

There may be some level of magic, but in my study of creativity - in particular, the science of creativity - I've stumbled across two studies that, when taken together, could explain the power of nature as it relates to our creativity.

#1 Walking:

Turns out the simple act of walking increases creativity by a whopping 60%. Stanford University did an elaborate study that isolated the variable of walking and found this profound effect. 

And, btw, that's walking at all, anywhere, not only in nature. Even on a treadmill.

#2 The Color Green:

This is an odd one, but another proven positive effect on creativity is the color green. The University of Munich conducted a very simple online study, where subjects were given the same creativity tasks to do (online) and the only difference was the color they saw on the screen just prior to the test. 

The subjects didn't even know that the color on the screen was part of the test. But green was a clear winner over all other colors, as it relates to creativity.

Now, let's combine them.

Walking + Green

Now, combine the two - walking and green - and you've got exactly what a walk in nature has to offer. Could it be that nature's creative power has less to do with magic and energy and more to do the simple fact you're walking (at all) and surrounded by green?

I'm a big believer in energy and magic, so I'm not going to go that far. I'm certain nature offers us inspirations we may never be able to isolate and measure. But it's nice to know that any magic in nature is compounded by these scientific findings on walking and the color green. 

Now, hit the woods, people!

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