Walking meetings sound like something that has come straight from Silicon Valley. And you’d be right.
Steve Jobs was known for his love of walking and talking, and Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are said to be fans, too.
It can often feel like Silicon Valley is a manufacturer of HR fads, but could your workers actually benefit from walking meetings?
A new study by the University of Edinburgh’s Physical Activity for Health Research Centre, discussed by Workplace Insight, has found that the majority of middle-aged office workers are more sedentary than pensioners.
The research discovered that, on average, men aged between 45 and 54 spend 7.8 hours per weekday sitting down. In comparison, the over-75s sit down for an average of 7.4 hours.
High levels of sedentary time for office workers is linked with increased risk of early death, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers — regardless of how physically active people are at other times throughout the day.
Walking meetings can, therefore, help improve the health of your employees by reducing their time sat down.
But Inc.com claims there are other benefits, too.
A study by Stanford University showed that walking helps increase creative output by an average of 60%. So if you’re struggling to generate ideas in the meeting room, get up and go for a stroll.
While there was no difference in the effectiveness of boosting creativity between indoor walks or outdoor walks, taking them outside can make workers even happier. That’s according to research by the University of Essex which found that as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise can significantly boost mood and sense of well-being.
You might also want to consider walking meetings if you’re after ways to improve energy and engagement among your workers.
The Wellness & Prevention group of Johnson & Johnson conducted studies and VP Jack Groppel explained that “after 90 days of doing [walking meetings], people felt increased amounts of energy, they felt increased focus, they felt improved engagement.”
However, walking meetings aren’t the only way you can improve fitness at work. We Work Creator also recommends:
● Standing desks
● Treadmill desks
● Conducting lunchtime group exercises