For this week’s blog post, we invited Mary Allison, who is currently completing a PhD on the impact of the Step Count Challenge, to write about how even a short walk can boost your focus and concentration.

“Ever had a time at work when you simply can’t think straight anymore? Did you know that even 5 minutes outside walking could help clear you head and restore your ability to focus? There’s now evidence that we are ‘plugged in’ and trying to focus on work, long after our brains have run out of the capacity to think well. If we do that hour after hour, day after day, it’s inevitable we’ll get tired and long-term tiredness leads to stress. Like our muscles after a run, our brains also need to rest and restore to be focused and productive.”


“The good news is that a walk outdoors is a great way to rest our brain. If we can find a place to walk such as a park, a canal or river, the natural environment provides us with a chance to relax. We don’t need to do much except walk along and enjoy. Research tells us that if we are having a stressful day, taking a break and walking alone (even for 5 minutes) might be the space we need to get back on track. If we want to generate a more productive mind, walking regularly and for longer could be the answer to tackling bigger work problems as well as life’s big questions!”


“Why not use the opportunity of the Step Count Challenge to try it out. If you enjoy a walk to ‘clear your head’ at work, I’d like to hear more about it.”

You can get involved with Mary’s research by sending her an email. If you’d like to find out more about Mary’s research, she’s also on Twitter.