Are time-consuming board room meetings killing workplace morale and slowing down productivity? If so, why not add some zest to your work life and hold a walking meeting.
What’s more the exercise will do you good – and ignite the cognitive function of your team! Walking meetings offer benefits that are too hard to ignore.
Zoom fatigue has left employees feeling exhausted and uninspired. With a chance to return to the office, there is an opportunity to revitalise your staff and your meetings.
Old-school meetings around boardroom tables aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Meetings should provide the inspiration that reignites your team’s productivity. They often do the opposite.
Long discussions in the meeting room can leave participants feeling a little snoozy and less enthusiastic about diving back into their work with gusto.
In recent years, studies have shown that walking meetings help people to be honest, open and creative. Waling also gives people a boost of energy and has several benefits for the mind and body.
The late Steve Jobs was an advocate of walking meetings. The science suggests he was right; walking is great for your team’s wellbeing and can trigger inspiration. Not only do walking meetings encourage mental wellness, but they actually help your staff think more clearly. Win-win!
Boost Body and Brain
Sedentary lifestyles are bad news for your health. Sitting at a desk all day long increases your risk of developing a wide variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
Walking meetings encourage employees to walk – and movement helps to stimuli the body and brain. Relaxing walks can help the heart function better and increase blood flow around the body and into the brain.
Blood carries oxygen which helps to feed the brain and increase the ability to think with more clarity. An uptick in oxygen also controls your breathing which also helps your mind to relax – particular if you are breathing properly.
In addition, studies show that walking promotes the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that stimulate relaxation and improve our mood. Researchers have made a case that walking meetings can help reduce stress levels.
When you consider that ongoing stress increases the risk for developing health issues together with mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, it makes sense to break away from sit-down meetings and let your walking do the talking instead.
So, if your Slack notifications are giving you an unconscious tick and your Monday app can’t compute all your deadlines, walking can allow you to decompress.
Get Better Sleep
The blue light used to manufacture the screens used in devices such as smartphone, laptops and HD TV’s suppressed the release of melatonin and makes it more difficult to switch off at bedtime.
Light to moderate exercise like walking is known to improve sleep quality as it helps stabilise the circadian rhythm. Walking meetings may not the answer to a good nights sleep, but the exercise will contribute to the daily dose of natural chemicals produced by the brain which will help you get some shut-eye.
Build Better Social Relationships
It goes without saying that we’ve missed our colleagues during the lockdown. The people we work with is the main reason we love our jobs and social bonding in the workplace has been found to stimulate physical and mental health.
Most businesses will be striving to solidify team dynamics as we get back to the workplace. Having actual human interaction will be a major boost to morale and motivation.
It has been shown that walking meetings help people to connect and can reignite existing bonds or helps colleagues build better relationships with newer members of your team that they may not know so well.
The mood-boosting benefits of walking can be enjoyed by the whole team, which will help you all feel more positive and put your best foot forward. Plus, the communal activity fosters a united team dynamic which also increases optimism and motivation.
Improves Body-Mind Connection
Cognitive function not only centres around how creative, imaginative and clever your staff is. How the brain works also plays a major role in physical health and how you feel. The better your brain works, the more healthy your body is and vice-versa.
There is a growing body of research that shows how exercise acts as natural medicine. Some researchers have found that a 20-30 minute walk can improve cognitive function to the same degree as a cup of coffee – but with the caffeine that can cause damage to your body.
Walking meetings can help to improve staff performance and will contribute to your health and wellbeing program – if you have one. And if not, you should really consider introducing one.
You could get your staff switched on for the day with a regular team walk in the morning if morning team meetings are customary for your workplace. Morning meetings always turn up on advice articles about how to boost team morale.
Exercise also helps to improve memory and has been found to encourage better test performance. Walking on a regular basis actually promotes new neural connections between brain cells, which increases the volume of the hippocampus (the part of the brain that’s essential for memory).
Generate an Aspirational Working Culture
The Insta generation wants a better quality of life in and out of work, and who can blame them? Encouraging walking as part of your working culture promotes good health, self-care and balance; all highly desirable company traits for potential recruits.
You can help to encourage and inspire your workforce to walk more often by downloading the sweat coin app. The built-in pedometer records the number of steps you take every day and converts them into SWC – digital tokens you can use to purchase merchandise from over 300 retailers we have teamed up with.
If your office has a lot of meetings, imagine what you could buy by engaging in walking meetings instead of disturbing your health by sitting around a table drinking coffee and energy drinks.