Finding time in our busy days to stay active can be difficult. What if there was an easy way to fit in exercise and be more productive with your time? Walking meetings may be the solution.Why a walking meeting?
Physical activity has long proven benefits including helping to control your weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, reduce your risk of some cancers, strengthen your bones and muscles and increase your chances of living longer overall. So what does this have to do with walking meetings? Physical activity can also help to improve your mental health and mood and can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp. Perfect for more productive meetings! Walking meetings are also less subject to distractions because it is hard to sneak in an email or text when you need to watch where you are going. Add in a little fresh air and change of scenery and walking meetings may even encourage more creative thought.
How to hold a walking meeting
Walking meetings will be new to a lot of people, so a little planning can go a long way. Give enough notice so that your participants can plan to have the right shoes. While walking is safe for most people, not everyone may be able to do a walking meeting. Giving notice allows people to express any concerns they may have. Consider walking the path you plan to take ahead of time to make sure there aren’t any unexpected surprises like missing or broken sidewalks or loud construction. Choose meetings where you don’t need to take or read a lot of notes and if you do, use the voice record function on your phone. Keep the group small or break into teams so people in the back or front aren’t left out. And of course, with weather being unpredictable, it is a good idea to have back up plan for bringing your walking meeting indoors.
The same benefits you get from taking your work meetings on the move can apply to almost any setting where you are chatting with someone. Want to catch up with a friend? Meet up and walk while you talk. Working on an event? Get the committee together and walk while you discuss ideas. Including people that you enjoy spending time with while you are being active can help to keep you on track, so give it a try in any setting.
1. Rizzo, Nico S. et al. Nutrient Profiles of Vegetarian and Nonvegetarian Dietary Patterns. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , Volume 113 , Issue 12 , 1610 - 1619
Written by Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RD.