New study: time spent in nature can boost creative thinking

April 23, 2013

A recent study finds spending some 'down time' in the great outdoors can improve your creativity and problem-solving ability. Professor David Strayer of the University of Utah said people tested after four days immersed in nature with Outward Bound did dramatically better than people who took similar tests before heading into the woods.

“We found a 50 percent improvement in the creativity scores,” Strayer said. “Disconnecting from, kind of, our networked work and interacting in a natural setting seems to have a measurable, significant improvement in the way we think and can think creatively.” 

Strayer said the average American child spends more than seven hours in front of a TV or computer screen every day, compared to 15 to 20 minutes playing outside, and he said he is planning more research in hopes of finding how much time outdoors is needed to get a measurable return on the investment.

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