Walk This Way: The Power of Standing up and Moving During Meetings

Author: Cronofy

28th May 2014

Millions of us spend most of our days sitting down. Whether it’s behind a desk at work or in front of the TV at home, we can easily rack up 8 hours or more on our bottoms. And this, so say several recent studies, is not good for us.

Alongside the tried and tested “get up every hour to make a brew and stretch the legs” type of advice, more and more companies are turning to walking meetings to help employees alter, albeit on a quite a small scale, their sitting:standing ratio.

These “walk and talk” sessions have benefits not only for individual health and wellbeing, but also work wonders for productivity and creativity.

Dr Ted Eytan told WTSP that there are physical and cognitive benefits to being more active at work. He works at Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health, which promotes walking meetings and has an indoor track for employees.

“Your brain functions better. People are more engaged and ready to take on the day.”

General advice remains that we should all aim to take 10,000 steps a day, and getting off the bus a stop earlier, taking stairs instead of the lift and walking during meetings can soon add up.

Ancient philosophers are said to have walked while delivering lectures or working on their latest essay, so walking meetings are nothing new, but it can seem a bit daunting.

Some top tips:

  • Make sure everyone knows in advance that you are hosting a walking meeting – they will need to wear comfortable shoes and might even want a coat, umbrella or a change of clothes depending on the weather.
  • Choose an easily accessible location – avoid hills or trampling through muddy fields if you are new to walking meetings and if your participants have varied fitness levels! A simple loop round a quiet car park can do the job, although an open green space is preferable.
  • Morning walking meetings can help keep energy levels up for the rest of the day, and afternoon ones can help avoid that post-lunch slump, so choose your time to best suit your attendees and their workloads.
  • Encourage participants to mingle so they do not end up chatting with friends or discussing the same things with the same people the whole time.
  • Take a Dictaphone to record important points – it is not easy to talk and write and having to stop to make notes interrupts the flow of creativity and brainstorming.
  • Factor in time to get changed before and afterwards, and to sit down and write out the key points of discussion.
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Date: 28th May 2014 | Category: Productivity