Americans sit. A lot. And it’s not good for our health. The new saying, “Sitting is the new smoking,” is not just a way to say we’re sedentary; it’s a catchy way to say that sitting is bad for us. It’s something we should take seriously.
Although sitting is not always avoidable, it is important to find ways to reduce our sedentary time. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that:
- A sedentary lifestyle can be bad for your health.
- Sitting 8-12 hours per day has shown an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes by 90%.
- Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for death for people all around the world.
- Lack of physical activity can lead to depression.
Fortunately, there are many ways to fit activity into our day. Taking meetings for a walk is an opportunity to get up, get moving, and still get work done. In fact, you’re likely to accomplish more if you do some of your work on your feet. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review,
- Walking increases overall wellbeing.
- Walking has been shown to increase creativity.
- Being side-by-side can promote honest exchanges and greater equality.
- Employees who are active at work have displayed more productivity and higher levels of engagement and focus.
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WALKING MEETING A SUCCESS:
- PLAN AHEAD: You don’t want to surprise your colleagues with a walking meeting. Let people know ahead of time so they can be prepared with proper attire and footwear. Some outfits are just better suited to walking meetings!
- RECORD THE MEETING: Using your phone or a good old-fashioned tape recorder, capture all of the great ideas without having to stop to take notes. Everyone will be able to walk more freely if nobody is walking with their nose buried in a notebook.
- INVITE SMALL GROUPS: Walking meetings tend to work best when they include two to five people. Any more than that and you’re likely to get sidetracked or lose people from the conversation. A notable exception: if you want a walking meeting purely to get juices flowing and to regroup as a team, then the more, the merrier.
- INCORPORATE STOPS: Planning stops along the way allow you to regroup or introduce a new topic. Health tip: Don’t plan stops that involve food or high-calorie beverages. Instead, check out a local park, landmark, or bookstore. Recently on a walking meeting at WBENC, we stopped by the statue of Founding Father, John Knox Witherspoon.
- HAVE FUN!
SO, LET'S GET SOME FRESH AIR AND SOME FRESH IDEAS!
WBENC Director of Marketing Laura Buckley earned her degree in Nutrition Management from Rochester Institute of Technology and completed her dietetic internship through the US Military Dietetic Internship Consortium.
Feet First, Guide To Walking Meetings: http://www.feetfirst.org/walk-and-maps/walking-meetings