5 Tips to get Walking at Work!

So, you want to ditch your seat?

Convinced that it’s time to stand up and move more during work? Here are 5 ways to make that shift in your life happen!

  1. Walk your Meetings.

    Make the decision to get your meetings moving with a walk! It is a great way to improve the memory retention, creativity, and other aspects of the meeting. Before you set off on your first walking meeting, build your routes and identify options of varying lengths and direction. You’ll want walking routes that are safe, not too busy or noisy, and easily accessed from the office without an additional commute.

  2. Walk by yourself.

    There’s no hard-and-fast rule that a walking meeting needs to be a group activity. When you need to mull something over or come up with fresh ideas, get out of your head and head outside. If available time or company rules restrict walking outside, walking the perimeter of a factory or office floor is an excellent stand-in. My radio station was three blocks away from the La Brea Tar Pits. If you know what’s around you, you can make use of it. The La Brea Tar Pits have tons of ground to walk and talk for both yourself and your group meeting.  Since coming home, my dad has made it a rule to only make long phone calls while walking – why not?

  3. Invite appointments to walk instead the standard.

    Isaac Newton found that an object at rest will remain at rest unless an external force acts upon it. Be the external force, and start inviting appointments to walk and talk instead of meeting on seats. You may experience a few quizzical looks at first (remember our “Crazy Person theory”), but you can influence other people to bcome walking meeting devotees.

  4. Set walking meetings up for success.

    There’s no telling whether your first overtures to turn traditional meetings into walking ones will be met positively. But there are ways to make your efforts, and the meetings themselves, more successful:

  • Let your meeting mates know in advance so they can be prepared physically and mentally.
  • Maintain a manageable group size. If the plan is to brainstorm, for example, consider breaking a larger group into smaller sub meetings before you set out. Maybe you can even push their thoughts in a direction before they leave so that each group is tackling part of a larger solution. Then each sub meeting can generate ideas to share with the whole once everyone has returned to the office or to another outside meeting area.
  • Consider what the other person is wearing, and modify the walk’s length and path accordingly (e.g. If your walking partner is wearing high heels, steer clear of bumpy sidewalks).
  • Encourage your colleagues to bring a pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes to work that stay at work – so that you are always ready to take a quick walk to talk!
  1. Find a champion for walking meetings.

    Change happens within an organization when a visible and influential leader drives it. Seek out an influential person within your company and invite him or her to a walking meeting. This would be a perfect meeting to drop some knowledge on them about the research! Let them know that great thinkers like Aristotle and Freud, even myself (just kidding!), swore by them, and numerous companies are promoting group activity as a means of increasing productivity, ramping up collaboration, and even lowering health-related risks and costs. Hopefully they will be interested in seeing it executed more often!

Which way are you going to put into practice? Who will you take with you for the extra movement?