Best.Walking.Meetings.Ever (to date)

Filmmaker Tonya Lewis Lee and Vice Admiral Regina Marcia Benjamin, USPHS on a walking meeting, Center for Total Health View on Flickr.com

At the Every Body Walk (@everybodywalk #EBWpartners) partners meeting last week, Scott Bricker (@ssbricker) , the Executive Director of AmericaWalks (@AmericaWalks), and I, worked with the event organizers to include walking meetings in a meeting about walking (get it?).

We planned two different experiences and they were equally awesome. The first was a 10 minute indoor walk, around the digital displays of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health (@kptotalhealth). Filmmaker Tonya Lewis Lee and Vice Admiral Regina Marcia Benjamin, USPHS, participated in that one, along with the 140+ other attendees.

The second was a 20 minute experiential walk, with planned routes and landmarks along the way provided by the H Street NE Heritage Trail, part of Cultural Tourism DC’s neighborhood trails program. To do this one, we made four routes and assigned pacesetters who were familiar with the area and could help the walkers relax and meet without having to worry about where to go or what the time was.

I agreed to pace set for the group that included Robert Zarr, MD (@DocZarr), who walked us to the landmark on our route, Stanton Park, where we learned about DC Parks Rx (see: “This park is nearly ideal” – A walk to rate, celebrate, and prescribe parks, in Washington, DC, USA | Ted Eytan, MD). It turned out, though, that Robert set my pace because he knows the area super well. I always remember (and admire) the people who can walk faster than me :). Robert will be hosting this month’s walk with a doc with me, by the way, on December 19 at 10:00 am, I’m setting up that announcement soon.

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Here’s what we learned and what I’d like to share:

  • This can be done, as part of a timed agenda
  • Walking is not a break, i.e. “walking break”, walking meetings are work. If anything, the break is the sitting meeting, which shuts off your body and your brain, stifles creativity, and shortens your lifespan.
  • People don’t like sitting meetings
  • People love walking meetings

I think what I’d like to do is take every event agenda and put a number at the bottom of it – number of minutes total of sitting. What do you think?

The revolution continues, via projects like “We Walk the Talk” (@wewalkthetalk) from BJ Fogg’s (@BJFogg) world (see: Walking the talk – 3 insights from Behavior Design).

I also created a Flickr photo pool (Flickr: Walking Meetings), so that anyone can add visuals to the conversation (because every movement has visuals). Please share!

8 thoughts on “Best.Walking.Meetings.Ever (to date)”

        1. @tedeytan if I make the cut on TEDxRVA, all y’all gotta haul your #epatient #s4pm a**es to Rivah City to cheer me on! And walk, of course.

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