Walking meetings…a solution for increasing wellbeing?

Walking Meetings - Ted Talks

This morning I came across a Ted Talk which I wanted to share with you as the concept was so simple yet very striking.  Instead of sitting in a meeting room hour after hour, why not open the door and take walking meetings instead?

Nilofer Merchant talks very candidly about how sitting for longer each day than we sleep is actually having a huge detrimental affect on our health and wellbeing.

Nowadays people are sitting 9.3 hours a day which is more than we are sleeping at 7.7 hours

It is noted that we don’t question how much we do it because every one else is doing it so we don’t think that this is not necessarily okay.  The idea came from someone needing to walk their dogs at the same time as a meeting and so she gave it a go and it “changed my life”.

Of course this is not going to be practical for large scale meetings but as we come into the summer months and we are experiencing a few dry days, why not take those one to one meetings out in the fresh air while getting some exercise.

Will seeing blue skies in walking meetings promote blue sky thinking?

In truth, I don’t know.  There is a definite logic to “getting out of the box” leading to an easier flow of ideas and communication so there is very little to lose in giving a new concept a try.

Do you remember the high powered executives in the 90’s having treadmills and step machines in their offices?  Is this a much more inclusive and modern take on a similar idea?

Caring about employee health and well being is more than ticking compliance boxes in terms of training and throwing the occasional party at Christmas time. As an employer it is your responsibility to actively encourage your employees to lead a healthy lifestyle so why not encourage them to be more active while at work itself. Many of us, myself included, spend 90% of our working days on a computer so being mobile is less of an option when tethered to a screen. However, that other 10% is spent in meetings…so why not make them mobile?

This simple concept could potentially have a huge impact on employee well being.  Nilofer claims to be walking up to 20 miles a week now during meetings…imagine those stats showing up on your step counter at the end of the working week, your partner won’t believe you’ve been working!  In all seriousness, people need to be taking any opportunity they can to be active in what is becoming a more and more sedentary world so why not give it a go, I know I will be.

TOP TIP:  Having recently had a walking meeting with my HR Manager I would recommend taking an umbrella….#wegotsoaked

Watch the Ted Talk here –


Ruby Wax recently talked about Mental Health and Wellbeing in the workplace at the Safety & Health Expo.  You can read more about her views, tips and warning signs here »


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