Walking Meetings

It may go without saying… but, a new study found walking meetings increase physical activity.  So, is it time to rethink traditional work meetings? Replacing a seated work meeting with a walking meeting can increase workers’ physical activity and therefore lead to positive health effects.

As part of the study from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, the researchers recruited 17 workers who led weekly meetings. The workers agreed to wear a gadget called an accelerometer to track their physical activity at work during a three-week period. They also continued the required note-taking while walking. The protocol included following a set route and walking for at least 30 minutes per meeting.

So, what did they found out?  By the third week, participants had increased their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to 117 minutes – up from 107 the first week and 114 the second week.

Researchers say walking meetings and other interventions to increase physical activity are necessary to “counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior.”

Brisk walking for as little as 15 minutes per day can increase a person’s life expectancy by up to three years, researchers said.

“Walking is known to have tremendous health benefits,” Hannah Kling, lead study author and project director, said in the release. “Having sedentary, white-collar workers consider walking meetings feasible suggests that this intervention has the potential to positively influence the health of many individuals.”

The study was published June 23 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.