Walking during meetings yields positive health benefits, study shows

Walking meetings, whether outside or just down the office hallway, are a solid form of exercise that lend attendees real physical and mental health benefits, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"If corporations were to adopt this ubiquitously, you just start to think of those health benefits adding up," James Levine, co-director of obesity solutions at the Mayo Clinic campus in Phoenix and Arizona State University in Tempe, told The Wall Street Journal. "It's an amazingly simple thing and it costs nothing."

Walking meetings, which typically involve two to three people and last half an hour, add more exercise to participants' weekly physical activity.

Prior studies have found walking for as little as 15 minutes a day can lead to three add years of life expectancy, according to the report. One showed walking for 15 minutes burns an average of 56 calories, compared with 20 calories sitting for the same amount of time or 22 calories for standing.

In addition to positive health benefits, a study published this year in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease found the more people engage in moderate physical activity at work, the less likely they were to miss work for health reasons. What's more, walking meetings can help create a more relaxed atmosphere than a seated meeting and remove barriers between managers and employees, according to the report.

"Even just having a desk between two people, it almost states that you're in this position and they're in that position," said Paula Bracey, director of project management at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control in Columbia. "When you're side-by-side, we're there with our comfy shoes on and we're just two people out walking."

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