Nature Nurtures

Back in 2012, Professor David Strayer of the University of Utah helped conduct a new study showing that people score better on a creativity test after spending four days backpacking in the wilderness disconnected from electronic devices.

The test involved 56 people (30 men, 26 women) who went on a four day hike.  24 took a 10-item creativity test the morning before they began their backpacking trip, and 32 took the test on the morning of the trip’s fourth day.  The average score for the day-one-ers was 4.14 while the people who had been lugging a heavy bag around for ages scored 6.08.

There have long been theories that being at one with nature is a good thing.  One of the thoughts is that nature can reset our concentration span which is eroded by constants distractions and the need to constantly split our efforts between any number of things.  Even typing this post, I have the computer, my phone, a desk phone, other people around…

It’s an interesting thought where a lot of us are only presented with urban environments.  Maybe it’s just what I say, but I tend not to see creativity encouraged.  Instead, doing what needs to be done as fast as possible is favoured over coming up with a better solution over a longer time.

Part of me wondered with this study, though, which part of the study it was that made the difference, because the highest scores still only averaged around 60%.  Was it the hike, or the nature, or possibly just the fact that people were away from what they found stressful?

Backstroke lover
Always hidin’ ‘neath the covers
‘Til I talked to your daddy, he say

He said, “You ain’t seen nothin’
‘Til you’re down on a muffin
Then you’re sure to be a-changin’ your ways.”

I met a cheerleader,
Was a real young bleeder
Oh, the times I could reminisce

‘Cause the best things of lovin’
With her sister and her cousin
Only started with a little kiss
Like this!

Seesaw swingin’ with the boys in the school
And your feet flyin’ up in the air
Singing, “Hey diddle diddle”
With your kitty in the middle
Of the swing like you didn’t care

So I took a big chance
At the high school dance
With a missy who was ready to play
Wasn’t me she was foolin’
‘Cause she knew what she was doin’
And I knowed love was here to stay
When she told me to…

Walk this way [8x]
Just gimme a kiss
Like this!

Schoolgirl sweetie with a classy kinda sassy
Little skirt’s climbin’ way up the knee
There was three young ladies in the school gym locker
When I noticed they was lookin’ at me

I was a high school loser, never made it with a lady
‘Til the boys told me somethin’ I missed
Then my next door neighbor with a daughter had a favor
So I gave her just a little kiss
Like this!

Seesaw swingin’ with the boys in the school
And your feet flyin’ up in the air
Singing, “Hey diddle diddle”
With your kitty in the middle
Of the swing like you didn’t care

So I took a big chance
At the high school dance
With a missy who was ready to play
Wasn’t me she was foolin’
‘Cause she knew what she was doin’
When she told me how to walk this way,
She told me to…

Walk this way [8x]
Just gimme a kiss
Like this!

Walk This Way by Aerosmith

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