Walking Meetings

Medical research cautions that prolonged sitting can potentially contribute to health problems. Americans today typically sit approximately 9 ½ hours per day. Compounding the length of time sitting, many people sit with poor posture in which the spine is unnaturally curved in a manner that restricts healthy blood flow.

Find ways to move to a standing position during the work day. Even better, seek opportunities to both stand and walk.

Walking Meetings are a simple way to work productively in a healthy way. By walking while meeting, the brain functions with increased creativity and openness.

What is a Walking Meeting?

  • A Walking Meeting is a meeting conducted while walking instead of sitting.

How many people can participate in a Walking Meeting?

  • Walking Meetings work well for groups of three or fewer.

  • You can also walk alone while on a phone call. Using a phone headset allows the arms to move freely while walking.

How do you prepare for a walking meeting?

  • Let the attendees know in advance you would like to walk while meeting and gain the team’s agreement. This allows attendees who wish to wear different shoes to bring them or change into them when they arrive at the meeting.

  • Decide on a route. It can either be indoors or outdoors depending upon the weather and environment. The path can be a repeated loop or a single route.

  • If documents or presentations need to be viewed as part of the meeting, review them before beginning the walk. This will allow for the best undistracted discussion while walking.

  • If there is a possibility of needing to reference documents or access a computer, choose a short repeating route so it is easy to return to the start of the meeting location if required.

How can you be successful during the meeting?

  • Walk leisurely and go at the pace of the slowest walker. Let attendees know it is perfectly acceptable to ask to slow down. Remember, this is not aerobic exercise. A leisurely pace ensures everyone can hear the conversation, allows gentle blood and oxygen flow to increase creativity, and reduces stress.

  • Set a limited time for the meeting and follow an agenda. If there are a lot of items to cover, bring the agenda with you as a reference.

  • If a note needs to be jotted down during the meeting, feel free to pause to do so.

Walking Meetings are a free option to improve communications, creativity, and health.

Andrea Dee