It seems like spring has finally sprung in Prince George and the rest of British Columbia as we have finally received some sunlight and temperatures hovering around the 25C mark. With this warm weather and bright sunshine all I’ve wanted to do is sit in the sun all day getting my daily dose of vitamin D. So I was delighted the other day at work when my manager suggested we take one of our weekly dietitian meetings outside and go for a “walking meeting”.
What a great idea! And not a new one either. Some writings have shown that even Aristotle used to take his students out for walks during lectures.
The rates of heart disease and obesity are rising in North America where we average a whoping 9.3 hours of our day sitting. Even coco-cola made a commercial about the ill-effects of chairs (my thoughts on this commercial will have to be a part of another post).
It is recommended that we take 10 000 steps per day to reduce the risk of heart disease and lead a healthier lifestyle. Among other benefits, walking in the fresh outdoors gives a break from the office, it adds some physical activity to our otherwise sedentary work day, it helps to reboot energy and boost worker moral, and increases oxygen flow to the brain which can help stimulate new ideas.
We even found that our meeting was more efficient as we picked a route we knew would take the alloted 30 minutes to walk and made sure to discuss each agenda topic and wrap things up before we returned to our office.
Here are some tips to get your next office meeting off to a walking start:
1. Make an agenda and take it with you
2. Plan a route ahead of time and tell everyone what route you’re taking so that you don’t have to waste time during the meeting deciding this.
3. If everyone agrees, take a recorder with you, that way you don’t need to jot things down or worry about forgetting your meeting minutes.
4. Pick a quiet neighbourhood or park to go on your walk, avoid busy and loud streets
5. Make sure everyone has a good pair of walking shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather.
While walking meetings may not be suitable for all businesses or business meetings it certainly is a step in the right direction towards increasing employee health and well being. Try to fit them in weekly for best results.