When a group of college students took class outside they met with more than fresh air. As University Lecturer Olle Bälter discovered, they were more likely to engage in discussion. These findings come from KTH Royal Institute of Technology and add to a previous study conducted by Stanford University which connected creativity to physical activity.
KHT had formerly engaged in a challenge to track the hours faculty and students spent sitting at desks in contrast to moving. Inspired by the idea, Bälter started taking ten students in his media technology course outside for walking lectures. The results from being in different environments were striking.
“Students feel freer to talk when they are outdoors than when they are in the classroom,” Bälter explains.
A survey of students who’ve participated in walking lectures found that the majority preferred active ones in comparison to lectures where they were meant to be sedentary. These results have encouraged Bälter to seek a marriage between learning and movement, as cited in an article he and several colleagues presented to the Lund Institute of Technology eighth pedagogical inspiration conference in December, 2014.
Takeaway Tip: There have been numerous studies citing physical activity’s positive effect on the mind. Try having a brainstorming session outside with colleagues when the weather permits. Maybe the fresh air and endorphins will leave you feeling eager to share ideas.