Just last week Stanford University released a study showing that an individual could increase their creative thinking skills by as much as 60% walking on a treadmill desk, such as the TrekDesk.  However for critical thinking skills other than creativity they noted a marginally slight decline. New research out of the University of Michigan found actually no negative impact from walking on specific cognitive abilities.


Creative Thinking Enhanced by Walking at Work

“Given the health benefits of walking, we should not discourage people from walking and thinking when they want,” stated Daniel Ferris, professor of kinesiology and biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan, as a reflective response to his study. In fact, professor Ferris found that the speed of walking also posed no negative impact on thinking skills as well.

The research, published online in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience by Julia Kline, Katherine Pggensee and Daniel Ferris measured the impact of walking on very complex spatial cognitive tasks versus standing still.

Specifically, subjects were asked were asked to memorize numbers and their placement on a ‘tic-tac-toe’ styled 9 cell grid. Results were consistent and equal whether the subjects were walking fast, slow or merely standing still. It was noted however that the walking gait actually increased during the tests presumably to maintain better balance while multitasking.

Study participant’s brains also showed increased activity walking and thinking (as measured by EEG) in areas previously correlated with short term memory and cognitive tasks.

“The initial knee jerk reaction six years ago by many people was that walking would interfere with creativity and critical thinking skills. This was one of the biggest obstacles we had to overcome when we introduced the first affordable treadmill desk to the market,” stated Steve Bordley, CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desk. “It is gratifying to see that science is now proving what treadmill desk users have experienced and enjoyed for some time now.”