This showed up in my mailbox, so I figured I would share it with you.
It's a salesletter, with a link to the site if you are interested.
I have no financial interest in it -- just wanted to disclose fully.
Still, the idea behind it is interesting.
Next time you need a boost of creativity, take a stroll outdoors.
"Writers for centuries have talked about why interacting with nature is important," says University of Utah psychology professor David Strayer, yet scientific evidence on the specific benefits has been lacking.
Stayer and a team of psychologists tested the creativity of 56 participants who completed four-day hiking trips through Alaska, Colorado, Maine, and Washington state. They used the Remote Associates Test, a standard measuring tool for creativity and problem-solving—abilities stemming from the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that is constantly burdened in a technological environment.
Participants were given 10 sets of three words. For each set they were asked to choose a fourth word that would link the original three. For example, an answer to Ache/Hunter/Cabbage could be Head—headache, head-hunter, and a head of cabbage.
Twenty-four of the study's participants took the test before they set off on their expedition; the remaining 32 were tested four days into the trip. Those who had been backpacking for four days scored an average of 6.08. Participants who hadn't begun their trek averaged 4.14—almost 50 percent lower.
"Interacting with nature has real, measurable benefits to creative problem-solving," says Strayer. "Natural environments are associated with gentle, soft fascination, allowing the executive attentional system to replenish."
Now head outdoors and let the creativity flow!