I’ve always been a huge critic of multitasking.
The truth it, you’re not getting more done.
You’re only ensuring multiple things get done poorly.
Which is why I was surprised to read a new study from the University of Rochester.
It showed that there’s one form of multitasking that’s actually beneficial:
Walking while problem-solving.
Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one surprised.
One of the researchers, Eleni Patelaki, said this:
“It was surprising that for some of the subjects it was easier for them to do dual-tasking – do more than one task – compared to single-tasking – doing each task separately. This was interesting and unexpected because most studies in the field show that the more tasks that we have to do concurrently the lower our performance gets.”
The study used brain imaging technology called the Mobile Brain/Body Imaging System (MoBI) to monitor the brain activity of 26 healthy participants.
The participants were shown a series of images while either sitting or walking on a treadmill.
They were asked to click a button each time the image changed.
While the results were not obvious to the human eye, MoBI revealed that walking significantly improved cognitive performance.[R]
Geniuses throughout history like Einstein, Beethoven and Darwin, are known for very different things.
But they all attribute many of their greatest ideas to a daily walking ritual.
It makes sense.
We didn’t evolve to sit around all day.
Whenever I’m faced with a difficult problem, I naturally start pacing around my office.
Sometimes, I’ll go on a 30-minute walk.
This gives my brain the breathing room to come up with the exact solution I’m looking for.
The science is in:
Take more walks.