Walking meetings can be a great business tool with benefits galore. We’ve all read the studies about the lethality of inactivity. Whether at home or at work, we’re all too sedentary and it’s killing us. One simple way to combat that at work is to convert at least some of your work meetings to walking meetings. It’s not only a smart fitness idea, it can yield benefits that range from enhanced creativity to team bonding. In a recent Harvard Business Review article – How to Do Walking Meetings Right – authors Russell Clayton, Chris Thomas and Jack Smothers talk about research they conducted to explore these benefits.

” … we undertook an exploratory study of the benefits associated with walking. We surveyed a population of approximately 150 working adults in the U.S. to gather input about their walking meeting and work habits. In short, we find that those who participate in walking meetings are 5.25% more likely to report being creative at their jobs than those who do not. Additionally, the responses suggest that walking meetings support cognitive engagement, or focus, on the job. Those who participate in walking meetings are 8.5% more likely to report high levels of engagement.”

Of course, every meeting won’t be suitable to being a walking meeting, but many are. The authors suggest simple guidelines for what works and what doesn’t and a few considerations in your planning.

Another great resource is from the Seattle-based community initiative “Feet First” that promotes walkable communities. They offer an excellent Guide to Walking Meetings. Their guidelines can encompass workplaces, families and the community at large – great ideas.

In this short TED talk, business innovator Nilofer Merchant talks about why you should make that next meeting a walking meeting.

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