Walking Meetings to Improve Workplace Health
Recommendations from Public Health England suggest that the majority of adults are not getting enough exercise. Perhaps it’s now down to HR departments to encourage their employees to get out and about during work hours. One of the suggested methods is walking meetings.
Taking steps to improve workplace health won’t only benefit you, there’s every chance it will benefit your business as well. There are several reasons why this could be the case, including reduced absences, as well as increases in creativity, and ultimately rises in productivity.
PHE also suggest that workplace health and wellbeing programmes such as exercise, healthy eating and stop smoking support can make a huge difference. According to PHE’s research, successful workplace health programmes have not only improved staff wellbeing, but actually offered a return on investment between £2 and £10 for every £1 spent.
Benefits of walking meetings
As suggested, one way of improving your workplace health is through introducing your staff to walking meetings. But as well as improving health, walking meetings can actually help get creative juices flowing. As the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in 1889, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”.
This research report by M. Oppezzo and D.L. Schwartz from Stanford University, states the benefits of walking on creativity. The research summarises that 81% of people demonstrated more divergent thinking after walking, and calls walking a “simple and robust solution to the goals of increasing creativity and increasing physical activity”.
Tips for implementing walking meetings:
- They are best suited to 2 or 3 people.
- Set a destination that you will walk to, research suggests it is best to meander and not set a specific route. HBR blog adds that building in a point of interest can encourage others to go for a walk, for example a local monument or park.
- Have a topic to discuss: This applies to all kinds of meeting, not just the walking ones.
- Plan your meetings in advance. Don’t force or surprise people with walking meetings. Some people might take some convincing, but be gentle, and be prepared to take no for an answer.
- Research suggests that walking meetings are best for discussing ideas but not so great for making final decisions.
- Living streets recommend walking for at least twenty minutes
So why not give it a go, don’t forget to let us know how it works out.
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