Meeting Well: Move It or Lose It, Keeping Meetings Active

Posted: April 19, 2016

The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day, five days a week. 45-60 minutes a day, 5 days a week is even better.

   “Active” is probably the last word that comes to mind when you think of meetings. Sitting and listening to presenters session after session can make participants restless, make it harder for them to pay attention, and leave them feeling drained at the end. Whether you schedule a meeting for one full day or multiple days, incorporating activities that encourage people to get up and move should be part of your meeting agenda.

How can we do this?

•    Encourage people to use the stairs whenever possible. Place directional signs for the meeting near the stairwells and at the elevators pointing to the stairs.
•    Organize a walking group in the morning or when you break for dinner.
•    Provide participants with maps of nearby attractions and walking trails.
•    Arrange for an early morning fitness class (i.e. yoga, tai chi, or aerobics).
•    Incorporate icebreakers that encourage people to get out of their seats and move.
•    Encourage people to walk the block or the halls during breaks.
•    Play upbeat music on breaks.
•    Take frequent breaks for stretching.
•    Give participants information on phone apps that they can download that tracks their steps or distance. There are GPS based walking apps like “Map My Walk” or pedometer type apps like “Accupedo”.  These apps can be an excellent tool to motivate participants to increase movement during or after their meeting. Offer prizes for those that meet a step goal or who are active at least 30 minutes each day of the meeting.

Source: American Cancer Society; Penn State Extension’s Meeting Well initiative