Author and lecturer, Nilofer Merchant, has penned (typed?) an opinion piece for Wired in which she urges business people to adopt walking meetings as a thing.
“Sitting has become the smoking of our generation.” I argued this in my recent talk at TED2013 and elsewhere while advocating for the concept of “walking meetings” (or as I informally call them, “walkntalks”). Simply put: We spend more time sitting (average 9.3 hours a day) than sleeping (7.7 hours) — and it doesn’t even occur to us that this is not OK. So instead of using a standing desk, doing sitting meetings over coffee, or meeting in some fluorescent-lit conference room, I do one-on-one meetings as walks. It resolves the tradeoff between “taking care of health” and “getting stuff done.”
More than just a West Wing reference, Merchant's suggestion indicates that "walkntalks" are going to play an essential role in mobilizing America's idle workforce. This mobilization is such a burgeoning issue that there's even an entire panel devoted to the issue at SXSW this year.
We all know the sad truth: the majority of working Americans are chained to their desks – namely, their computer screens – for eight hours per day and the “massive” obesity epidemic persists. Recent research suggests that sitting is killing people and the industry continues to debate the harmful health effects stemming from sedentary lifestyles, with many arguing that technology is only adding fuel to the fire. So if sitting is killing us, then can mobile save us? Forget traditional wellness programs - the healthiest workplace is one where employees are actively mobile.