Spring is officially here, and that means it’s getting to be the time of year when you’ll actually want to go for a walk outside again. So go—scientific research has shown that walks are as good for your mind as your body.
Our memories work particularly well when we’re walking at a pace we find comfortable, according to a 2010 study by Schaeffer, Lovden, Wiekhorst, and Lindenberger. The best way to remember why you saved some of the random receipts you’ve found as you get ready to file your taxes may be to lace up your sneakers and head out for a walk.
There are other benefits to walks. Walking around, particularly at work, can increase the odds that you’ll cross paths with colleagues and those encounters may lead to great new ideas. When kids walk to school, they also seem better able to deal with the stresses they encounter during the day.
Whether you take a walk or not, make sure you spend less time sitting. Researchers, including Duncan, Kazi, and Haslam, have found that more sitting time is linked to lower levels of mental well-being. Desks whose work surface can be set at both sitting and standing heights are becoming more available and can help you pack in more standing time. Maybe standing room only isn’t so bad.