Time spent away from electronic gadgets can stimulate creative abilities study finds.
Wandering lonely as a cloud high o’er vales and hills may be the best way to recharge your batteries – so long as you leave your conventional battery-powered devices at home.
What writers have known for centuries, scientists are now endeavouring to prove – that contact with nature can boost creativity and problem solving skills.
Backpackers who spent four days in the wilderness without access to electronic devices scored 50 per cent better on a creativity test at the end of the trip, according to researchers.
The backpackers – 56 in all – joined one of four separate expeditions run by the Outward Bound organisation and took a ten item “creativity test” at the start and end of the hike. On average they got four out of ten questions right at the start and six right at the end.
The researchers used the Remote Associates Test, a standard measure of creative thinking, in which participants are given three words and asked to supply a fourth that is linked with the other three. For example the answer to SAME/TENNIS/HEAD might be MATCH – because a match is the same, tennis match and match head.
Earlier studies have shown that going for a long walk can improve the accuracy of proof-reading, the ability to perceive an optical illusion and the capacity to repeat a list of numbers backwards.
Yet the time people spend outdoors and in contact with nature is diminishing. Children spend only 15-25 minutes daily in outdoor play and sport and the average teenager spends more than 7.5 hours a day using mobile phones or computers and watching TV, according to the US <aclass=”StrictlyAutoTagAnchor” href=”http://www.etupdates.com/tag/researchers” title=”Viewa