Which positive effects do walk-and-talk meetings have?
“When we move around, we become more alert and attentive and find it easier to make decisions. Walking for half an hour increases our enthusiasm and desire to work while reducing stress during the rest of the day. This is the case regardless of how fast you walk. Exercise stimulates the formation of new cells, and walking is an equally effective form of brain gymnastics as solving crosswords. It also has a positive influence on sleep, with studies showing that it shortens the time it takes to get to sleep and makes sleep more efficient with fewer disruptions. Walks are also an effective pain reliever, as endorphins released increase significantly when we get moving, which both eases pain and puts us in a good mood.”
What are the risks of sitting still for too long?
“It can be dangerous for the body to sit around as much as many of us do today. By getting regular exercise, you lower the insulin and glucose levels in the blood, with a decreased risk of blood clots. Also, new research shows that brisk walks that raise the pulse and make us sweat help prevent depression. This is because when we use our muscles, an enzyme is produced that protects the brain from harmful substances.”
What kinds of meetings is the walk-and-talk meeting suitable for?
“It’s mainly suitable for meetings with 1 to 3 people, and the meetings should be between 30 and 60 minutes long. If there are more people, it’s hard to have a proper conversation with each other. For example, it’s a good form of meeting for performance appraisals with your boss. It’s easier to walk beside each other and talk about sensitive issues than to sit opposite each other at a desk.”
How does it work in technical terms when taking minutes?
“Some people record the meeting directly in their mobile phone – there are a lot of intelligent apps for that nowadays. Others take short notes when they get back to the office. It varies from person to person which works best.”
How do I incorporate the new routine in my day?
“It’s important that the company lobbies for it from the start, for example via the intranet. Karolinska Institutet is a good example – they’ve come up with suggestions for various routes in the local area depending on the length of the meeting, e.g. 30, 40 or 60 minutes.”
How do you work at Fabege?
“We have a major focus on health, and walk-and-talk meetings form a key part of that. I recently invited people to a walk and talk and everyone thought that it was fantastic to get out for a while – it’s healthy to have a change of scene now and again.”
How to get started – three tips
- It’s important that the company promotes this type of meeting so that everyone knows that booking walk-and-talk meetings is viewed positively.
- Start off with meetings about development and short meetings to check things with staff. Meeting where you don’t need a computer but are more about having a free-form conversation.
- Prepare beforehand by downloading an app to record the meeting with. Or take notes afterwards.
Follow Karolinska Institutets guide for a quick start.
Click here to open the guide