Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Walk and Talk: Walking Meetings Gain Popularity

Two to three people talking as they do laps of office hallways may get to be a more common sight. Such walking meetings in the workplace are shown to have “physical and mental benefits of being more mobile at work.”

Benefits include:
• Accruing steps to reach a goal on wearable technology such as FitBit.
  • Expending more calories (15 minutes of walking burns 56 calories while sitting at a laptop expends 20 and standing 22)
  • Walking meeting participants are less likely to miss work for health reasons.
  • “… walking for as little as 15 minutes a day can add up to 3 years to life expectancy.”
  • Spurring more ideas: “Creative output increases by an average of 60% when people are walking …”
  • People are more relaxed and generate more ideas.

Tips for walking meetings include:
  • Meet with 2 or 3 people
  • Set a time, 30 minutes or less
  • Go at comfortable speed
  • Inform the boss
  • Walk in a park, outdoors or around the office.

Are there other times you could walk during the workday? “Meetings, phone calls and email have come to consume more than 90% of the working time of managers and some other workers, such as consultants. Many of these meetings and calls could be conducted while walking, experts say.”

New businesses are springing up to combat sedentary behavior in the workplace such as StepJockey of London which promotes use of stairs for businesses in large office buildings.

Bachman, Rachel, “The Genius of a Walk-and-Talk,” Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2016, p. D1

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