When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, exercising tops the list. It makes sense; depending upon who you consult, the average person gains between two and 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. And anyone who’s ever been to a gym in January can attest to crowds that dissipate in mid-February once the novelty of the resolution has worn off.
According to a recent article forwarded to me by Plante Moran Partner Dan Doescher, we now have another reason to exercise beyond losing those unwanted pounds; researchers have shown that exercise actually increases creativity. Cognitive psychologist Professor Lorenza Colato of Leiden University in the Netherlands found that those who exercised four times a week were able to think more creatively than those who were more sedentary.
At Plante Moran, we do a number of things to encourage staff to exercise and be more mobile. For example, our athletic reimbursement program pays 50 percent of any exercise program up to a specific limit each year. In our newest offices (Chicago and Detroit), we have height-adjustable desks that allow people to stand up and move around while they work. In Southfield, it’s a familiar sight to see staff walking around the building—inside and (in the summer months) outside—when they need to take a break.
The motivation behind these things is simple—to promote a healthier lifestyle. We never dreamed it could have creative benefits as well.
Philosopher and author Henry Thoreau once said that his thoughts began to flow “the moment my legs began to move.” Here’s to more movement and creativity in 2014.
What about you? Have you found there to be a link between exercise and creativity? And indulge me—the article said that part of the study asked participants to come up with alternative, creative ways a pen could be used beyond writing. Let’s hear a few of your ideas!