Many pastors have a sitting problem.
We sit 90% of the day.
We sit while writing sermons. We sit while answering email. We sit while making phone calls. We sit in meetings. We sit while counseling people. We sit at restaurants. We sit driving to work. We sit in Bible studies. Some of us even sit while preaching.
It is obvious to see how pastoral sitting can be linked to decreased activity and weight gain, but that is another problem for another time.
The problem that we often don’t realize is that all of our sitting is actually hindering our creativity. Yes, sitting actually makes you less creative!
Why You Should Walk More
Don’t just take my word for it. A recent Stanford University study found that the simple act of walking improved a person’s creative thinking ability by 60%.
Someone who is walking, or has recently sat down after walking, is 60% more creative than a person who has been sitting.
Another interesting note is that it didn’t matter if a person walked indoors or outdoors. The simple act of walking made them more creative regardless of the environment or if they used a treadmill.
For years people have claimed that they do their best thinking while walking or exercising. Now there is finally research to prove it.
Do you ever struggle with creativity? Maybe you are sitting too much.
Do you ever have writers block when writing sermons? Maybe you are sitting too much.
Do you ever have trouble finding new solutions to recurring problems? Maybe you are sitting too much.
Ideas To Get You Walking
All pastors could benefit by having a little more creativity. So here are a few tips to help get you off your rear, and walking more at work:
- Park in the farthest parking spot. This will force you to walk more than usual.
- If you work in two-story building, always take the stairs.
- Take a play from Steve Jobs and have meetings while taking a walk.
- Instead of sitting in your office for prayer, take a prayer walk.
- Instead of emailing or calling a fellow staff member, walk to their office and have a face-to-face conversation.
- Schedule routine walk breaks throughout your day. Maybe set a timer every hour to get up and walk for 5 minutes before sitting back down.
- Instead of driving to lunch at the restaurant down the street, walk there.
- If you live close enough, walk to work.
- Get up early and go for a walk before leaving for work, or walk at the office before you start your day.
- When brainstorming ideas, instead of typing on your computer, pace the office and write on a white board.
- When making phone calls, stand up and walk around.
- Rotate between working on things you do while sitting and physical things that need to be done.
These are just a few ideas, what else might a pastor do to walk more? Have you tried any of these?
And here’s another question to ponder: What could you do to help foster a staff culture of walking to boost everyone’s creativity?
Whatever you do, the evidence is clear: The simple step to boosting your creativity is simply taking simple steps.