Walking Meetings: The Next Step In Workplace Health?
by Kenny Rhoads
Encouraging health in the workplace is becoming increasingly popular. From websites devoted to building healthier workplaces and communities to awards honoring companies that put a premium on employee health, here at MultiTable.com we applaud any efforts that highlight the importance of offering the healthiest possible working environment.
Since our founding six years ago, we’ve been on the forefront of the healthy workplace movement. By offering consumers an alternative to being held hostage to a chair for eight hours a day (and the unhealthy side effects associated with it) we are doing our part. Of course, there’s more to workplace health than not sitting. It takes an holistic approach, encompassing all aspects of an employee’s health, including diet and increased physical activity.
We were pleased to see the results of a new study that found that walking meetings (held while the participants walk, rather than sit in an office or boardroom) can significantly boost employee health and even help them live longer. Researchers at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine recruited white-collar workers and fitted them with accelerometers, devices which measure physical activity levels during the workday. Over a three-week period, the workers followed a “walking meeting protocol” with guidelines for leading walking meetings and tips on how to take notes during them. Walking instead of sitting during just one meeting a week increased physical activity levels by ten minutes, an impressive amount. Multiplying that by the number of meetings held in an average week suggests real health benefits. “There are limited opportunities for physical activity at work. This walking meeting pilot study provides early evidence that white-collar workers find it feasible and acceptable to convert a traditional seated meeting into a walking meeting,” said Dr. Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, the study’s principal investigator. “Physical activity interventions such as the walking meeting protocol that encourage walking and raise levels of physical activity in the workplace are needed to counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior,” he added.
Combined with results from previous studies, showing that even moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) for as little as 15 minutes a day can add up to three years to a person’s life, this walking meeting study should spur you on to commit to holding your next meeting on foot.
To learn more about making your workplace healthier by incorporating a standing desk into commitment to better health, head over to MultiTable.com today.