There are few people who can work a solid eight hours a day without any breaks. It’s natural for your body to want a few minutes at a time to refresh and renew from the task at hand – breaks help revitalise your mind.
If you study on campus, you’ll be met with many micro-breaks walking between lectures or classes, as well as free blocks in your schedule. You can use that opportunity to grab some food for lunch, catch up on some lectures or hang out with friends.
On the other hand, when studying online, it’s less likely you’ll have such regular breaks. If you get caught up in the study you’re doing, it can mean long blocks that can compromise your study efficiency.
Of course, everyone studies differently, but here are three good reasons why you should take a break from online study to visit your local park.
Green, green, everywhere – how can it help you?
Working out your legs helps your brain
Your lower body strength is important for many everyday tasks, such as sitting down, bending over and general fitness. It’s important to stretch your legs once in a while to prevent pins and needles, restlessness and to promote blood flow throughout your whole body. That’s why a walk to the park, or even around your block, is so good for you.
Now there’s more reason than ever to go for a brisk walk. A study by King’s College in London has found that exercise, specifically of the legs, also improves the rate of cognitive ageing.
The study focussed on twins, identifying the differences of physical fitness between two people who shared similar DNA and lifestyles. The researchers observed thinking, learning and memory before and after each twin completed their relevant workout, and noted those who had more leg power output performed better. Over a 10-year period, they also found there were less cognitive changes, normally associated with ageing.
If that’s all it takes to boost your brain power, it sounds like a walk in the park!
Get those green juices flowing
Why not bring your canine buddy for a bit of fun too?
If you’re stuck on wrapping your mind around a certain concept or problem in your lecture recording, or you just need to finish off that last paragraph of your essay, why not take a quick stroll? It can get your creative juices flowing!
A study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found people who were exposed to the colour green before attempting a task usually exhibited higher levels of creativity.
The participants involved blind-tested against a control group. Without knowing what was being measured, a person was outlined a task to complete. Without any mention of creativity, colours or even the purpose of the study, they were left with a booklet. The front page had a square that was either grey or green.
Those who had the green square performed significantly better at the creative task than the grey square control group. The researchers hypothesise it could be due to the colour green being associated with ideas and having fresh, natural and healthy associations.
So where better to get your daily dose of green than from the local park? You can work your legs for better brain power while prompting that creative spirit inside you.
And if you’re up to it, why not bring your laptop and books down to the park with a mat and some lunch? It’ll transform studying into a relaxing task, as you soak up that sun and enjoy the fresh air.