Tandon in the News

Get Creative at Your Desk With a Little Playtime

New York University researchers explore how manipulating everyday objects may spark new ideas


Playing with a geometric puzzle or stress ball at your desk can seem like idle diversion. It may also spark clearer or more creative thinking.

Certain kinds of hand movements have an impact on cognitive functioning, improving focus or sparking fresh thinking or faster learning, according to several recent studies. Researchers at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering are exploring how fiddling with desk gadgets might yield some of those benefits on the job.

The research holds clues to how people who feel restless or confined by computer work might find the physical stimulation and stress release they need in behavior that they would have been scolded for in elementary school—fidgeting.

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