The Healthy Meeting Revolution continues – what it looks like 2 years later

By now, most people know about the walking meeting revolution. This is the companion revolution, that’s been under way at the Center for Total Health (@KPTotalHealth) for over 2 years (!): Idea for the Obesity prevention Code-A-Thon: a healthier meeting revolution | Ted Eytan, MD

Whether or not you like going to meetings (or hosting them), the fact of life is that they happen and people spend a lot of time at them. The corollary fact is that a lot of health can, over time, is determined in the gatherings you go to, so it is incumbent that a philosophy of total health environments include the meeting environment.

I’ve been to enough events where it feels like the hosts either didn’t spend time thinking about whether health would be improved or degraded when the meeting was over, or that the caterer made the default decision that unhealthy would garner more positive reviews.

Our experience has defied this assumption – as I tell people, the number of attendees who approach us spontaneously thanking us for being mindful of their health (including dietary restrictions) is more than we ever expected. People don’t want to feel that they are held hostage when they are in an environment that they have less control over.

I would say this extends to the workplace in general, where the choices given as the default can have a huge impact over the span of a career. Why not expend the same energy to think about the choices?

This week, the Center for Total Health hosted the Association of Meeting Planners (@AMPSdc) to show how a meeting can be healthy, with help from Ridgewells (@RidgewellsDC) and curated by Erin Meade (@erinm81).

The photos are meant to show that healthy meetings are a choice that’s worth making. One day this will be the default, and there will be “meetings” and “unheathy meetings.” Until then, the Center for Total Health will continue to accelerate this social innovation. Feel free to access the Center’s healthy menus here, and comment/post/tweet about your healthy meeting experiences. Just like walking meetings, once you go to one, you’ll never be the same.

Ted Eytan, MD