Walking meetings increase physical activity, study finds
Miami – Is it time to rethink traditional work meetings? Replacing a seated work meeting with a walking meeting can increase workers’ physical activity and lead to positive health effects, according to researchers from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
As part of a study, the researchers recruited 17 workers who led weekly meetings. The workers agreed to wear an accelerometer to track their physical activity at work during a three-week period. They also adhered to guidelines for conducting meetings and note-taking while walking. The protocol included following a set route and walking for at least 30 minutes per meeting.
Results showed that, by the third week, participants had increased their moderate-vigorous physical activity to 117 minutes – up from 107 the first week and 114 the second week.
Walking meetings and other interventions to increase physical activity are necessary to “counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior,” Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, the study’s principal investigator and assistant professor of public health sciences, said in a press release.
Brisk walking for as little as 15 minutes per day can increase a person’s life expectancy by up to three years, researchers said.
“Walking is known to have tremendous health benefits,” Hannah Kling, lead study author and project director, said in the release. “Having sedentary, white-collar workers consider walking meetings feasible suggests that this intervention has the potential to positively influence the health of many individuals.”
The study was published June 23 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.