Let’s take a walk: Why you should have your meetings on the move

You can walk the walk and talk the talk, but the real benefits come from combining the two.

Apple founder, Steve Jobs, often took his meetings from the confines of the office to the great outdoors, where he would walk as he talked. It’s also said that Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg conducts job interviews outside. Read on to find out why these famed tech-company creators prefer working from the other side of the building, and why you should too.

Walking increases creativity

Last year, Stanford University conducted a study showing that over 80 percent of participants felt that they were more creative during walking meetings compared to standard sedentary meetings. On average, they were 60 percent more creative.

Author Anna Iwarsson has used walking meetings for several years and sums up the benefits on his blog:

“The body thinks well when it is in motion. That’s because the brain’s ability to solve problems works better in motion. Walking clears the body’s stress hormones and your body enters into recovery mode. Around 400 years before our era, Greek Diogenes of Sinope coined the saying, ‘solvitur ambulando’ which roughly means ‘it dissolves when you go.’ The theory is quite simple. The farther you go, the more you’ll get done. “

Taking your meetings outside can literally be a breath of fresh air. However, in places like Norway, it is not always feasible to expect your colleagues to pack on the winter wear for an outdoor meeting. Taking your walk and talk meeting around the office can be a great alternative.

Five things you should consider when walking during meetings:

  1. Let people know in advance, so they can dress accordingly
  2. Decide before where the meeting will be and how far you’ll walk
  3. Stick to small groups, anywhere from 2-5 people
  4. Know what you want to say before the meeting starts – could be difficult to take notes
  5. If you need to take notes, you may find it easiest to use an app on your mobile

Not convinced? Check out this short TED Talk for more reasons why taking your meetings on a walk is the way to go. If you’re already walking during your meetings and want to share your experiences or other tips, use the comment box below.