The average office worker spends a lot of time sitting. It’s kind of hard to avoid it. We sit at our desks, answering phones and working at our computers. And we gather in meeting rooms where we sit some more. But what if there were a way to incorporate a little exercise into that routine?
A few months ago, my boss started to hold “walking meetings.” When he needed to meet with one or two people, he would invite them to walk with him around the track in back of our building, rather than sit in his office. I could see them from my office window – walking and talking. I thought it was a great idea. A little odd maybe – but great! It’s wonderful to stretch your legs and get some fresh air during the day. And there’s no reason for people to be sitting in order to have a conversation.
Nilofer Merchant did a TED talk on this very subject. She spoke about the health benefits of the walking meeting. She also believes that walking stimulates new ideas and creative thinking.
And Serena Holloman examined the nature of walking meetings in a recent Training + Development article. In order to make walking meetings effective and productive, she offers the following suggestions:
- Limit your meeting to two or three people (four at the most) to ensure that everyone can hear what’s being said.
- Pick a quiet area to walk, like a park, walking path, or residential neighborhood. Areas with lots of traffic and pedestrians can be noisy and distracting.
- Make sure to explain the purpose of your walking meeting before you begin to ensure that everyone stays focused.
Holloman, S. (2014). The walking meeting. Training + Development, 68(8), 22.