Mindful Meanders with Arup

Emma Forde

During the month of October we encouraged our employees to consider what the benefits are of taking a few moments out of each day to enjoy the fresh air, clear your head and talk in a different environment to colleagues.

Every day, as part of a wellness month in conjunction with Mental Health Week we organsised a mindful meander around some of the beautiful surrounds outside our Perth Office.

If they could not attend one of the organised walks we encouraged them to organize a walking meeting.

A walking meeting is much the way it sounds! Team members leave the office to take a relaxed stroll around the streets or a nearby park, and discuss agenda items and various topics as they walk. Walking meetings give team members the opportunity to take a break from the office environment, get some fresh air and physical activity, all the while maintaining productivity.

We identified some of the benefits of walking meetings to be:

  • Easy Exercise - the average office worker spends an astonishing 5.41 hours per day chained to their desk! So if nothing else at least a walking meeting gets people out of their chair, gives their eyes a rest from the computer and some fresh air. Just 30 minutes a day can potentially reduce the risk of developing debilitating conditions.

  • Better atmosphere – being out in the fresh air can lead to a fresh perspective. Walking side by side reduces the risk of awkward eye contact or feeling like all eyes are on you when you are talking. Therefore employees may find it is easier to voice opinions or tackle sensitive issues.

  • Focused time – helps to set periods of focused time which mean you can be productive with the time allocated.

A great success and we are looking to extend the walks to include longer lunch time sessions.

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David (Your Move)

Hello Emma, Great first story from Arup. Topical given concern about prolonged sitting at work - walking meetings are a good way to get people up and moving. Do you think promoting walking meetings can encourage staff to walk to business appointments or even between home and work (or their local bus or train stop)?

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Hi David, thanks for your feedback. We are very much trying to raise the profile of walking or using public transport to meetings and our office travel plan survey covers exactly those topics. Any suggestions for how to incentivise people to get active on their way to meetings would be most welcome.

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