Why Your Next Call Should Be A Walking Meeting

It’s been said many times before that a body in motion stays in motion, leading to better health. So, it’s no surprise research shows that sitting too much — a concept all too familiar to office workers — can lead to a number of health issues. Enter: the walking meeting.

“Walking provides a nice break in the day,” says Job van der Voort, co-founder and CEO of Remote, a global HR platform made for distributed teams. “And if you have work to do that doesn’t require you to be in front of a computer, there’s no reason not to do it on the move.”

Like Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple who was an early adopter of the walking meeting, van der Voort incorporated the practice when he realized they were a great way to get moving and reframe thinking.

“Walking meetings are a good example of what remote work is supposed to be. You can work from home, from a coffee shop, while walking — whatever you want,” says van der Voort. “It’s important to have variety in your routine to stay creative.”

The benefits of a walking meeting:

It can reduce stress and make you happier

Dr. Gillian Mandich, scientist and founder of The International Happiness Institute of Health Science Research, finds that walking meetings are especially helpful at times when we need a boost. “Focusing our attention on small daily actions that we can do, such as walking, can help to reduce stress and anxiety,” she says. “Going outside for a walk is a great daily action that can contribute to our happiness.”

It helps boost your creativity

According to a study conducted by Stanford University, 81 percent of participants who walked — in either indoor or outdoor environments — saw an increase in their creativity levels compared to those who sat. And with creativity comes better ideas and higher job satisfaction.

It helps you focus and problem-solve

Though it might sound counterintuitive, going on a walk while in a meeting can help you stay focused and engaged with your colleagues. According to Mandich, studies show that during a walk, a phenomenon called "divergent thinking" takes place, which can help you participate in your meeting in a new way.

“Divergent thinking refers to opening the mind in various directions and trying out multiple solutions for a problem,” explains Mandich, “It can help to generate new ideas, ask questions to spot problems and see things from a variety of perspectives.”

Tips for an effective meeting on the move

1. Choose your walking meetings wisely Not every call will be suited to a walking meeting. Opt for meetings on the move when you’re a passive participant, in a brainstorm or if it's one-on-one.

2. Have the right tools on hand Noise is one of the major roadblocks to taking a meeting outside, but that’s easily solved with a decent phone and a great pair of headphones made for the task. Investing in a stylish protective case for your headphones will ensure they stay in good shape. Additional tools like a popsocket can help ease your grip while holding your phone, while an external battery charger can keep your device powered.

3.Plan your route When you know where you’re going, you can stay engaged and avoid any potential heavy traffic or construction noise.

4. Stay hydrated and safe To prevent fading halfway through a call with your boss, remember to bring a water bottle along on your walk. Keep it safe by also bringing a mask and hand sanitizer.

Once you’ve planned and prepped, fire up your mobile device, connect your headphones and get moving.

By Staples Canada

August 09, 2021