7 steps to a healthier meeting
Long periods of sitting, like in meetings, can dull our concentration and productivity levels. Meeting agenda items where you stand or walking meetings for short but important discussions cost nothing and add value to workers’ health and wellbeing.
For many of us, overly long meetings have become a significant source of sedentary behaviour, with most of us unaware that sitting too much can expose us to a heightened risk of heart disease, diabetes and poor mental and emotional health among other chronic health conditions.
Time for a re-think on meetings? The team at Healthier Workplace WA have put together these seven easy, cost effective steps that will help you create a positive work environment that encourages good health for staff and clients.
Put health on the agenda...
1. Move more - At the start of the meeting or as an agenda item let people know it is ok to stand and stretch within the meeting space whenever they need to.
2. Sit less - Extended periods of sitting are associated with an increased risk of adverse health conditions so for longer meetings build in a lunch time activity like a 30 minute walk. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous try a walking meeting for shorter, more intimate discussions and get the creativity flowing!
3. Use active travel - By making active travel an option you can boost the health and wellbeing of your attendees. Include links and tips in the meeting papers for commuting by foot, bike or public transport, especially if the meeting is close by.
4. Stay hydrated - Water. Make the healthy choice the only choice and skip the juice, soft drinks and alcohol. Try including slices of lemon and ice blocks to transform ordinary jugs of water into something extra refreshing.
5. Provide healthy food choices - If serving wraps, sandwiches or breakfast foods make sure to include fruit, vegetables and whole grains to increase uptake of vitamins, minerals and fibre. If you can, try and avoid offering food between regular meal times.
6. Stay alert - Foods laden with saturated fats, sugar and salt will only contribute to your attendee’s waistline and poor concentration levels. Prolonged sitting can also dull our concentration level. Breaking up prolonged sitting and offering fresh and nourishing foods choices that are low in saturated fat, sugar and sodium will keep your attendees alert for longer.
7. Create a policy - Create a policy that sets out your organisation’s intentions and commitment to providing a work environment that encourages good health. Include all of the steps above to ensure healthier meetings.
Help your workplace achieve healthier meetings and tackle sitting less throughout the work day. And remember - it's important to get up and move, even if it is just for a couple of minutes every hour!
Longer term, you should think about creating a policy that sets out your organisation's intentions and commitment to providing a work envirnoment that encourages good health.
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