Why Walking Meetings Can Be Wonderful at Work

By Richard Larson

This is a news flash: walking isn’t just good for your health; it can be good for your job too. If you haven’t heard of the concept of walking meetings, then you should take note because this novel concept can really be the future of having efficient meetings where the ideas flow as you walk and talk. This works for many of today’s most successful business leaders and there is really very little reason why you shouldn’t adopt this concept.

The power of the power walk

All too often meetings are one of the most inefficient aspects of corporate life. Walking meetings can turn this around and at the same time still provide an extra benefit to your employees. There are proven health and psychological benefits from walking more. A Harvard Health Publications report detailed how walking for 2 ½ hours a week can cut your risk of heart disease by 30%.

In addition, walking also reduces the risk of diabetes, cancer, lower blood pressure ad cholesterol, and keeps you mentally sharp. The Journal of Experimental Psychology featured an article reported that “walking opens up the free flow of ideas” and “is a simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity.” Other research shows that the act of walking leads to increases in creative thinking, leads to more honest exchanges with employees, and are more productive than traditional meetings.

One of the main reasons that walking meetings work so much better than meetings in an office or conference room is because that generally requires eye contact. While eye contact is usually something that is almost necessary during a “face-to-face” meeting in an office setting, it is easily avoided during a walking meeting. A study conducted last year in the journal Cognition explains that it is more difficult to process thoughts when you are looking at someone in the eye.

Tips for instituting walking meetings

Clearly, the research into walking meetings shows that there are many benefits to it. The benefits fall under both health and psychological aspects since walking meetings seem to be more efficient than regular old office meetings. It is important to note, however; you should never surprise anyone with a walking meeting. Make plans for this ahead of time. That way, you can alert staff members to wear the right shoes for walking and clothing for the weather outside. If you don’t have a nature path near your office, a walk down the street will work too. However, do not discount the benefits of taking a day to bring the office to a park so that everyone can easily participate in walking and talking. Other tips for walking meetings include:

  • Do not make the destination of your walk a place where anyone will be tempted to eat anything with unneeded calories.
  • Stick to small groups.
  • Try to plan an ‘extracurricular destination on your route.

Summary and takeaways for your company

The next time you have a big meeting coming up, speak up, and suggest a walking Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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