Want To Improve Office Productivity? Try A Walking Meeting

Want To Improve Office Productivity? Try A Walking Meeting

For those who work in an office, there are no words sweeter than ‘Walk with me.’ Being cooped up behind a desk all day isn’t ideal, but now sedentarism just got a little more sinister, as leading US obesity expert Dr James Levine warns, “sitting is the new smoking.” Walking meetings are now even being recommended by Public Health England – so, what exactly are the perks of a walking, talking office?

1. It Breaks Down Business Hierarchy

Every employer likes to think they’re relatable enough for employers to come to them with a problem. But if you really want to be more approachable to your employees? Get them out from behind a table! Senior product developer David Haimes revealed that side-by-side walking breaks down an “organisational hierarchy,” allowing employers and employees to mingle freely. This makes the opportunity to approach another member of staff much less daunting than if you’re trying to make your point across a fluorescently lit boardroom table packed with your superiors.

2. It Improves Communication

You know the feeling when you’re sat in a stuffy meeting room, and there’s nothing you want more than to look at all the texts you can feel buzzing in your pocket? Or, perhaps you’re too busy concentrating on what you’re going to have for dinner that night, and you completely miss what your boss just said. Well, you don’t get that with walking meetings. According to neuroscientist Andrew Tate, instead of being stuck round a table, a brisk walk with your team increases bloodflow to your brain, “help[ing] to express ideas more fluently and helps you communicate with co-workers.”

3. It Has A Number Of Health Benefits

If the phrase ‘sitting is the new smoking’ wasn’t enough to put the fear of God into you, there are plenty of other serious health issues that come with sitting all day. A recent review of 43 studies analysing the correlation between daily activity and cancer rates discovered that those who sat longer during the day had a 24% greater risk of developing colon cancer, 21% higher risk of developing lung cancer, and 32% higher risk of endometrial cancer in women. See – now a little walk in the rain doesn’t seem so bad.

4. It Makes Employees Happier

Anyone who’s worked in an office knows that a breath of fresh air does wonders for a clear mind, and there’s nothing like heading out the front door rather than being herded into Meeting Room One for another long-winded business presentation – no matter how varied the slide transitions. Researchers at the University of Essex discovered that just five minutes of exercise in a green space, such as a park, can boost mental health. Study leader Jules Pretty said those who were inactive, stressed or had a mental illness benefited the most from this type of exercise: “Employers could encourage staff in stressful workplaces to take a short walk at lunchtime in the nearest park to improve mental health.”

5. It's A Good Form Of Exercise

As long as your walk doesn’t contain a pit-stop at your local Starbucks for a sugary Frappuccino, you could be burning major calories during your meetings. Business innovator Nilofer Merchant revealed during her TED talk on the subject that her love of the business amble meant she was walking up to 30 miles a week. According to the Harvard Health Publication, a person weighing 155lbs (11kg), walking at a pace of 3.5 miles an hour, will burn about 300 calories per hour. All those calories! And not a gym in sight! Remind us why we’re not rambling already?

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