New Study Links Time Outdoors To Increased Creativity and Problem Solving

By Jerry Ison

A walk in nature can help boost your ability to creatively solve problems.

A psychology professor at the University of Utah, David Strayer, has recently completed a study of the residual effects of spending time outdoors and away from electronic devices such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.

The study group consisted of 30 men and 26 women volunteers whose average age was 28. The volunteers were Outward Bound participants. Outward Bound is a group that conducts leadership expeditions for young persons in Washington, Maine, Colorado and Alaska.

The results of this study showed that backpacking in the wilds for several days without even a cell phone improved creativity and problem solving by as much as 50%.

Strayer states that the stimuli from natural objects such as trees, streams birds and even wind are softer than the harsh cacophony of traffic, cellphones and other urban noises. That, he says, leaves people less distracted, enhancing creativity.

“Nature seems to be one of the most effective ways to put one’s mind at ease and enhance creative thinking by setting aside worries,” Strayer said.

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