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Walking meetings increase physical activity among white-collar workers

Changing one seated meeting per week into a walking meeting increased the physical activity levels of white-collar workers by 10 minutes, according to a University of Miami study.

Researchers recruited white-collar workers from a large university in Florida to participate in a pilot study aimed at increasing workplace physical activity.

Participants wore an accelerometer to measure physical activity levels during the work day over a three-week period and reported their experiences to researchers.

The average combined moderate/vigorous physical activity reported by participants increased from 107 minutes in the first week to 114 minutes in the second week and to 117 minutes in week three of the study.

The study authors note that many jobs in the white-collar workforce involve a large amount of sitting time, which can increase the risk for being overweight or obese. They say their study suggests that their Walking Meeting protocol was feasible, accepted, and successfully executed by study participants.

“Physical activity interventions such as the Walking Meeting protocol that encourage walking and raise levels of physical activity in the workplace are needed to counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior,” researchers suggest.

Article: Opportunities for Increased Physical Activity in the Workplace: the Walking Meeting (WaM) Pilot Study, Miami, 2015, Hannah E. Kling, MPH; Xuan Yang, MHS, MPH; Sarah E. Messiah, PhD, MPH; Kristopher L. Arheart, EdD; Debi Brannan, PhD; Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, Preventing Chronic Disease, doi: 10.5888/pcd13.160111, published 23 June 2016.