Although it always becomes tempting around this time of the year to
watch a marathon of
Angel on Instant Netflix
do really cool lazy indoor things that only the coolest lazy people do, you could do your brain a real service by getting out there and doing some wintry frolicking, according to The New York Times' Motherlode blog.
A professor of cognition and neural science at the University of Utah noticed that his mental skills felt duller in the lab than they did in the woods and conducted a small study to prove as much, published in PLoS One. The researcher, Prof. David Strayer, found that:
a four-day immersion in the backcountry, disconnected from technology, dramatically improves performance on a creative problem-solving task
The task itself was to find the correlation among seemingly-unrelated words (e.g. ball, tender and locker or birthday, walk and pop. Whoa, I need to go outside). Admittedly, some micromanaging would be required to tear your spawn away from the Facebooks and the Twitters and the Tumblrs and get them in snow pants, but the article suggests it may have lasting benefits. So do it! Go outside! Stop reading this and go outside!
'Turn Off That TV and Go Outside and Play' [Motherlode/NYT]
Image via blasbike/Stockfresh