Improve Your Creativity, Productivity and Health with Walking Meetings

Did you know that most people spend more time per day sitting (9.3 hours) than they do sleeping (7.7 hours)?

Many of us have sedentary jobs and the impact sitting too much has been documented in multiple medical studies, and includes higher risk of heart disease, diabetes and a number of other undesirable health problems.  Even among people who regularly exercise, the exercise benefits may not counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day.

What can we do about the problem of sitting too much?

Strategist and blogger Nilofer Merchant recorded this short TED talk last year titled “Got a Meeting? Take A Walk“.  She challenges everyone to get off their duff, and walk and talk or “walk the talk”:

In addition to the obvious health benefits of being more active, people who have jumped on the walking meeting bandwagon report that their meetings are more focused, inspired, efficient and creative.  Increased physical activity has also been shown to reduce your stress, increase happiness and give you more energy.

Some key tips for hosting a walking meeting include:

  • Keep the group small – 2 to 4 people is an ideal group size for enabling everyone to hear and participate
  • Map out your route ahead of time – so you know where you’re going and to make sure you don’t get lost
  • Limit the use of smartphones – minimizing distractions is always good and it can be unsafe to use a smartphone while moving

Finally, you want to check out these additional Tips on Hosting Walking Meetings from the Everybody Walk! Collaborative.  Information on the risks of sitting too much can be found in this Q&A from the Mayo Clinic and in the “Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think” from NPR.

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