It’s 5:30 in the morning as I am writing this post. Why so early? Well I am currently having a closer look at my routines, habits and overall health and getting up earlier to get some stuff done before work is part of it. In the ideal world I will make this a regular thing and get the churn out a couple of articles once in a while. Let’s see hehe
In today’s post, I’d like to reflect on something I have been doing for a few month now – Walking Meetings.
It started a few months back when my (awesome) employer allowed me to get a standing height desk – one of those fancy ones with up/down buttons to move the whole tabletop from a sitting height all the way up to a comfortable standing height. So instead of sitting on my butt for 9hrs a day, I started getting up much more often during the work day. Initially just half an hour or so at a time then back to the seat due to hurting feet and legs, but now I can pretty much do a day without actively sitting. This has changed a lot about my work life – not just is it more healthy for my back and my body overall, it also helps me get rid of slow phases during the day. The afternoon slump after lunch does not happen anymore when I stand up.
Now together with getting up more often I quit another stupid hobby I had picked up again – smoking. At first it was a cigarette once in a while with colleagues to “take a breather”, then it was one or two a day after lunch and after work and before I could realize it i started buying packs 2-3 times a week. Apart from this fun costing me $17 a packet (!!) it also started ruining my health. The turning point came at a company conference in Las Vegas – in a couple of days there I smoked more than usual which together with the recycled air, the late nights and unhealthy food brought me the worst cold of the whole year. I ended up on a 15h flight from LA to SYD with a high fever and no pain killer helped. Feeling so shitty had one great side effect – I had zero appetite for cigarettes and all together quit again.
Back at work in Sydney I soon realized that instead of going downstairs for a “5 minute breather” oh so often, I could just get a bottle of water and an apple and walk around the block for a while. Now “the block” in this case is probably one of the most beautiful spots to work at, the scene looks about this nice:
Photo Credits: Yavomo on Flickr
Soon I started to integrate these walks into my meetings with colleagues and my boss. At first it was a little awkward to ditch the meeting room with the fancy chairs and whiteboards for the outside, but I really quickly started loving these breaks outside the office.
Apparently sitting too much kills us anyways, so might as well do something about it and get active.
Last week I ended up having a really productive an interesting 1:1 walk meeting with my new boss while we did a little bigger round. Before the meeting I had actually activated the GPS tracker in my phone, just to see how far we would make it and was surprised to see that we had chatted our way through 4.5km in 45 minutes. Map My Walk is a really nice and simple Android/iOS app that can help with this task.
I have now started to record all my walking meetings and will soon know how much I average per week/month/year.
Together with cycling to work, this is the perfect way for me to get my daily dose of exercise without actually running to the gym.
Walking is also a fantastic way to explore new cities, when I am traveling I try to take a few hours in every new city to just walk around and see and experience rather than taking a cab to the next restaurant etc.
Give it a try, even today if you like. Get out of the stinky office into the nature, even if the sun is not shining.