HealthScaping NorthWest

Creating healthy, vibrant communities

1 Comment

Healthy Meetings at Work

Many of us sit in meetings for most of the day. Often we eat meals while we meet, and never really take a break.

Here are three simple ways to make meetings contribute to workplace health and wellness:

1. Have you ever considered a walking meeting?

When meeting with one or two people, consider taking a walk outside. This is great for one-on-one check-in meetings with employees.

The benefits include fresh air, sunshine (which helps our bodies make Vitamin D), physical activity, and better workplace relationships. In turn, walking meetings can help reduce workplace stress, increase employees’ physical activity, and raise morale–all good for heart health. The fresh air and easy exercise get the blood flowing to the brain, prompting fresh thinking and problem-solving.

Bonus: Take the stairs or walk to another building for your next large meeting.

Bonus: Guide people in some light stretching at the beginning of a morning or post-lunch meeting, or during breaks of longer meetings.

2. Healthy Snacks

Many workplaces include food at meetings in an attempt to reward employees or build a sense of community. Next time, skip the donuts or candy, and choose a healthier option, such as small whole grain bagels, nut butter, and fruit.

Many employees are likely watching their weight, and will appreciate healthy food that feeds the brain, too.

Click for a downloadable list of healthy foods for meetings, put together by the Oregon Nutrition Policy Alliance.

Bonus: Provide reusable plates and flatware.

Bonus: Provide locally grown or organic, fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Bring on the Water

Instead of serving sugar-sweetened beverages (juice, juice-drinks, or soda) or “diet” drinks, provide fresh water.

Unlike sugar-sweetened and diet beverages, water satisfies thirst without adding extra calories or creating hunger. Studies have linked diet soda to diabetes and depression.

Many people are trying to drink more water. Our bodies are 60 percent water, and every organ system depends on it. Mild dehydration causes stress and exhaustion, but drinking enough water helps people feel energized and think sharp!

Water is important to long-term health as well.

Bonus: Instead of providing bottled water, reduce plastic waste by providing pitchers of tap water and reusable drinking glasses.

Bonus: Provide reusable water bottles or glasses to employees as incentives for participation in your wellness program.