How Walking Meetings Can Make Your Workday Active

You may already know that walking during your breaks is an easy way to get in more steps. But have you ever thought about taking a walking meeting?

What is a walking meeting?

3 professionals meeting while walking

A walking meeting is just what it sounds like. Instead of sitting at a conference table, your office or a coffee shop, you take the meeting outside while you walk. You can go for a nice walk and get your steps at the same time.

Working meetings don’t work great for meetings where you have to share your computer screen or follow along with a PowerPoint presentation. But walking meetings will work for a lot of other meeting types and situations.

Which meetings work best for walking?

Here are 3 meeting types that work well for walking meetings:

One-on-one meetings

1on1 walking for a meeting

You know those meetings where you talk with your boss about your goals for the quarter or the year? Those are great for walking meetings because they’re usually casual, you’re both exchanging ideas, and you don’t need to write anything down. If you need to talk strategy with a coworker, or if you’re meeting a contact for career advice, walking meetings also work well.

Conference calls where you’ll mostly be listening

Walking while listening to a conference call

Many companies hold quarterly or annual town hall-style meetings via conference calls. These are great opportunities to walk because you’re listening instead of talking, especially if you don’t plan to take notes. If you’ve been looped into a call where someone else is presenting, why not get steps in! If you do have to speak, remember that background noise from your environment may be distracting to other participants. Make sure you mute your microphone if you’re just listening!

Brainstorming sessions where you won’t need to write anything down

Walking while brainstorming ideas

Looking to just get some ideas flowing between you and your coworker for your next project? Researchers from Stanford University have discovered that walking can increase creativity by 60%. Brainstorming sessions can sometimes be boring, and many participants may be reluctant to contribute. By taking a walk and getting your creative juices flowing, you can make these sessions more fun and engaging! Instead of holding your brainstorming session in front of a whiteboard, take a walk and come up with some new ideas.

Tips for holding a successful walking meeting

  1. If you’re doing an in-person walking meeting, make sure the other participants know you’re planning on walking. This way they can prepare themselves, including wearing proper walking shoes.
  2. Plan your route ahead of time. You don’t need to plan this down to the minute, but just have a general idea of where you’ll go. You’ll want a safe route without dangerous intersections or lots of people as these elements are distracting and can be a safety issue if you’re focused on the meeting.
  3. Try to find a route that includes a park, or trees, or grass. Researchers have found that walking through green spaces reduces frustration.
  4. Pick a pace that works for you and your coworker. Aim for something faster than a stroll, but not so fast that you’re both panting for breath and can’t talk. If your coworker has to wear work attire, try to be considerate and not work up too much of a sweat!

Walking during a meeting may sound unusual, but try it a few times and you might start looking forward to it. Walking increases your creativity, improves health, and reduces frustration. Going to walking meetings with your boss and coworkers is an easy way to connect outside of the office. And perhaps most important, you can get those extra steps you need to beat your step goals!

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