The Surgeon General recommends that people achieve a goal of taking 10,000 steps a day to reduce risk for disease and help lead a longer, healthier life. This is roughly equivalent to 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. How is that possible for people who work at desk jobs all day? Take a walking meeting!
I've worn a few hats in my working life. One of them was a school administrator. The school was a progressive school in lots ways. Every year the whole faculty would go on a working retreat. There were hours and hours of meetings that included walking and talking as we hiked the Adirondack Mountains. Colleagues would comment on how much more we got accomplished when we walked and talked.
Walking and talking meetings are not a new phenomenon. Aristotle was said to walk with his students as he taught. A recent Blisstree post suggests: "Walking meetings" are one way to be productive and get some fresh air at the same time." The Japanese discovered decades ago that it was to the businesses advantage and the workers advantage to stretch and do calisthenics together in the mornings before settling into the workday. Their body warm-up before work requires some workers to exercise to prevent cramps and sore muscles during long sessions of sitting at work.
9 Reasons To Take a Walking Meeting
1. Physical activity energizes people and makes them more alert.
2. Different environments can inspire new ideas and stimulate creativity.
3. Time outdoors, in nature, with fresh air and light, improves physical and mental well-being.
4. Walking and talking side by side cuts through hierarchical work distinctions and sets people at ease, which enhances a positive working spirit.
5. Walking burns calories, stimulates oxygen flow around the body that increases brain function that increases the ability to solve problems faster.
6. Walking and moving allow the mind to become more flexible and can help stimulate the right side of the brain. 7. Being outdoors can increase confidentiality that can allow colleagues to work privately with out interruptions. 8. Engaging the mind and body is a more holistic way to work. 9. It saves office resources when there are fewer machines running which makes the workplace more sustainable and green. How to run a working meeting: 1. Organize everything you'll need for the meeting beforehand and include an agenda. 2. With everyone's permission consider taping the meeting with a recorder that can be synced to a computer. 3. Make sure everyone gets the memo about wearing comfortable shoes. 4. Consider the walking meeting for early in the workday to set the tone for the day and/or late in the afternoon when colleague's energies are spent. 5. Figure out how long the walking meeting should be with a consideration of the workers fitness levels. 6. Check the weather and provide a few umbrellas so the weather doesn't become a barrier to conducting the meeting outside. 7. While walking meetings are well suited for small groups, with some committee planning, meetings can accommodate larger groups. 8. Natural settings such as parks or trails work best, but urban settings with sidewalks can be stimulating and convenient. Avoid noisy roads that are distracting and dangerous. The walking meeting can break up a workday, help people stay fit, and make for a more joyful working community. Ready to walk the walk with a walking meeting?