Converting just one seated meeting per week at work into a walking meeting increased the work-related physical activity levels of workers by 10 minutes, a study has shown.
“Interventions such as the walking meeting protocol that encourages walking and raises levels of physical activity in the workplace are needed to counter the negative health effects of sedentary behaviour,” said lead investigator Alberto J Caban-Martinez, Assistant Professor at University of Miami in the US.
Nearly 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity in adults is imperative for good health, according to recommendations by the American Heart Association.
“There are limited opportunities for physical activity at work. This study provides early evidence that white-collar workers find it feasible and acceptable to convert a traditional seated meeting into a walking meeting,” Caban-Martinez added.
Previous studies have proven that engaging in moderate exercise, which includes brisk walking, for as little as 15 minutes per day can add up to three years of life expectancy.
The new research, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, suggested that walking meetings has the potential to positively influence the health of many individuals, the researchers said.
In the study, the participants were recruited from the University of Miami and wore accelerometers to measure physical activity levels during the workday over a three-week period.
They also followed a “walking meeting protocol” that included guidance for leading meetings and taking notes while walking.
The average combined moderate/vigorous physical activity reported by participants increased from 107 minutes in the first week to 114 minutes in the second week and to 117 minutes in week three of the study.