Everyday bodily movement is associated with creativity independently from active positive affect: a Bayesian mediation analysis approach

Previous studies reported positive relations of physical activity (or everyday bodily movement) with executive functioning, some even showed effects on creative thinking. Furthermore, positive-activated affect (for example smiling and an aproaching behavior) was found to be positively associated with everyday bodily movements and creativity. The mechanisms, however, underlying these relationships are poorly understood. The aim of this study from the Department of Psychology in Graz/Austria was firstly to investigat whether everyday bodily movement was associated with creative performance. Secondly, to examine, if positive-activated affect may mediate the association between bodily movement and creative performance.

In a sample of 79 participants everyday bodily movement was recorded during five consecutive days using accelerometers. Creativity in the figural and verbal domain was assessed with performance tests, along with self-reported positive-activated affect as a trait. Findings revealed that creativity, positive-activated affect, and everyday bodily movement were associated with each other. However, positive-activated affect did not mediate the association between everyday bodily movement and creative performance. The pattern of findings argues for shared variance between bodily movement and creativity (fluency and originality) that is largely independent from variations in positive-activated affect.