Take a moment and think of a recent meeting you attended Did you think thought about a time where people gathered in a room full of chairs and tables? Or when people discussed research methods, upcoming events, recent news, or class schedules? Sound right?
So in this recent meeting that we made you think about, was it a gorgeous summer day? Were you gazing out the window instead of paying attention? There is a way to change this!
But, you say, “meetings are really important,” we get a lot of work gets done because of these staff/research team/ group project meetings!” We totally agree. Meetings are a perfect time to collaborate, share, and get support on your work. There is nothing wrong with having meetings in whatever location (classroom, personal office, coffee shop) is available to you. These settings create formality and sets the stage for accomplishing important work. But word on the block is, sitting is the new smoking.
Avoid sitting disease, it kills!
What if we took our meetings outside? What if we were getting work done AND breathing fresh air AND getting exercise? BRILLIANT!
“Fresh air drives fresh thinking!”
The Walking Meeting concept is explained in the TED Talk above. Nilofer Merchant explains how to have a walking meeting and why they are a great way to re-innovate the traditional meeting. Merchant gives us an inventive way to increase physical, occupational and social wellness while in a work environment. Feet First, a company working to help communities become walking accessible, suggests that “thinking, talking, and walking are inextricably linked through history.”
A walking meeting will help you increase your energy during the work day, help you be more engaged in your work, and will foster creative ideas. Nature helps keep the blues at bay and makes you appreciate the beautiful world around us.
Walking meetings are easy at MSU because of our large campus and beautiful river walk along the Red Cedar River. Walking loops have already been mapped out! MSU has many beautiful nature area that are ideal for walking and relaxing. Check out the Beal Botanical Gardens, the Horticulture Gardens or the Sanford Natural Area.
Once we reinvent our meetings, we can also try and change the location of our coffee dates! There is no social norm or coffee house rule that says you have to sip your coffee and munch on your muffin within the confines of the coffee shop. Venture out, be caffeinated! In moderation of course.
We challenge you to schedule a walking meeting this week! All you need is your walking shoes, a colleague, and something to talk about! Let us know how it goes by tweeting @gradwellness #walkingmeeting #gradwellness!