Summary: Employees who get out of their seats and move around while at work are happier than those who sit in their seats all day. Learn four easy changes you can make to get up and get moving at work.
Key Take Aways:
- Don't feel like meetings need to happen in chairs.
- There are ways to incorporate movement into all meetings.
- Sometimes, the outdoors can add an element of exercise and relaxation to a meeting.
One time, very early in my career, I was invited to a business meeting that took place on a treadmill at the gym. The man I was meeting was jogging on one treadmill, and I was jogging on the next one over. It was strange, to say the least, but this is how the guy did his meetings. He rarely sat, and whenever he could, he held meetings outside or right there on that treadmill. In fact, he talked quite a bit about how he passionately believed that meetings shouldn’t take place in a chair.
I’ve never had another meeting on a treadmill, but I took his message to heart. I’m a firm believer that employees who find ways to be active while at work are happier and more engaged than those who sit behind their cubicle walls all day. Over the years, I’ve worked hard to incorporate the ‘less sitting’ model into my life and have encouraged those around me to do the same.
Below are four ways you can incorporate more exercise and movement into your day:
Stop holding your one on ones in a conference room and take them out of the office. I especially loved doing this in the nicer months. It’s refreshing to walk the trails or do laps around your building. In the winter, you can walk around the inside of your building or other local establishments [we worked next to a mall, so we’d mall-walk].
If walking for your entire meeting time seems unreasonable [let's say you need to be able to take notes], try scheduling a meeting at your local coffee shop and tell the employee that you’ll meet him at his desk to walk over. That five or six-minute walk is a good chance for light chatter, and by the time the note-taking portion of the meeting starts, you’ll be able to sit for a drink.
Try to find creative ways to get entire teams out of the office at once. One team I worked with held their once-a-month creative meeting at the top of a local mountain that boasts a 270-degree panoramic view. They got up early, hiked in, had their meeting and lunch, and enjoyed each other's company for the day. The cost to the company for this outing was nothing but the employees spent the entire day working in the outdoors. They were able to get the same amount of work done on the top of that mountain as they would have inside some stuffy conference room, but the experience was so much more beautiful.
Hold competitions at the office that encourage people to be active during the day. Let people track the number of times they took the stairs vs. the elevator, encourage people to bike to work, and find fun ways to get people up from their desks for some fun physical activity at certain points during the day [ping pong, anyone?]
With a little creativity and the willingness to ditch the traditional concept that meetings should be conducted in a chair, you have the ability to improve the quality of your work day, increase your fitness, and increase your happiness.
What are some ways you’ve been able to creatively slip a little movement and fitness into your life at work?