Move to Innovate

Got writer’s block?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science… saying me too!

Argh, I’m stuck on this writing project. And the deadline’s in two days! It has me so anxious–maybe I’ll Google Yoga With Adrienne for some Stress Relief. But WAIT, could that actually help?!

Kathleen Donnegan from University College Cork in Ireland and colleagues wondered. They tested creativity in almost forty middle-aged adults.

To test creativity, they looked at complex shapes. They were asked to find simpler shapes within the complex ones. They answered questions about how creative they were in areas like writing, humor, and music. Then they took either yoga or aerobics classes. Finally, their creativity was re-tested with the same methods.

So, how’d their creativity stack up? Those who did yoga had a larger long term improvement than those who did aerobics.  But don’t drop aerobics just yet! Both yoga and aerobics led to improved creativity!

So next time you’re stuck at the keyboard, go ohmmmm… and do a downward dog. Then free your paws to type.

References: (Primary article) Donnegan, K.F., Setti, A. & Allen, A.P. Exercise and Creativity: Can One Bout of Yoga Improve Convergent and Divergent Thinking?. J Cogn Enhanc 2, 193–199 (2018).

Clark, S., Seat, E., & Weber, F. (2000, October). The performance of engineering students on the group embedded figures test. In 30th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference. Building on A Century of Progress in Engineering Education. Conference Proceedings (IEEE Cat. No. 00CH37135) (Vol. 1, pp. T3A-1). IEEE.

Carson, S. H., Peterson, J. B., & Higgins, D. M. (2005). Reliability, validity, and factor structure of the creative achievement questionnaire. Creativity Research Journal, 17(1), 37–50. doi:10.1207/s15326934crj1701_4