Sitting Is The New Cancer

Sitting is the new cancer. Really? Because I’ve never heard of anyone going through chemotherapy for excessive sitting. Still, when I hear the stat of 9.3 hours a day sitting for the average person,versus 7.5 hours sleeping I see a problem.

I even see a link. Let’s face it, it’s hard to get lean and buff – in a chair. And obesity is linked to cancer, heart disease and a whole host of degenerative diseases which fell us on a regular basis

Most of us could use a little more time walking. But when? The average work place isn’t designed for walkers. And when we’re not working writers write. Add in family duties and going to the gym during the slim piece of time we have left – isn’t going to be top priority.

This is where Nilofar Merchant’s idea comes in. Have meetings where you walk.It’s an idea I for one, could embrace. I like the idea of having meetings where we walk, rather than sit in a stuffy room. She explains it brilliantly in the following video:

I can see where being outside in fresh air would engage our senses, possibly allowing us to come up with fresh ideas and solutions to our problems, whatever they might do.

I suspect taking notes or writing as you walk might not work so well,so walking meetings might work better when they are only between one or two people. And should decisions have to be made, including a brief wrap up session, in a seated area might be of benefit.

Perhaps combining the two with a ten to fifteen minute walking portion where people walk and brainstorm together and then another ten or fifteen minute portion at the end, where business is taken care of, decisions made, voted on and recorded, where necessary, would work best.

I think I’ll propose this for our next meeting. So, if you see a bunch of us walking along and talking you’ll know, we’re having a meeting. Important stuff happening here. Don’t let the odd bit of laughter fool you. It’s a meeting!

30 thoughts on “Sitting Is The New Cancer

  1. Hi Pat,
    Great idea to walk while you conduct a meeting. I find my brain moves more easily when I walk. I’ll have to try it. If it works, I’ll let you know. :)

  2. Wow! You caught me! With so much of my life now online, it’s hard NOT to sit! But I do find myself walking around every hour or so…I simply can’t stand the inertia! Love the idea of the walking meeting!

  3. I think it is an interesting idea however I don’t know about walking for meetings 20-30 hours a week. The biggest message is to out of your chair and move around. I make it point every hour if I am at the computer to move around for 10 minutes. I have also purchased a product called FitBit which measures the amount of steps I take in a day which is really an eye opener.

  4. One of my friends is getting one of those through work. It sounds like a really good way to keep track of activity etc. she works for some doctors.

  5. It’s so funny how good ideas keep coming around – I guess because people so rarely pay attention to them. I remember reading about the walking-meeting concept at least 10 years ago. I think it’s great for meetings of 2 or 3 people – and as long as no-one has to take notes (unless they want to record the conversation then play it back later and take notes). More than 2 or 3 people, though, and I have trouble envisioning how it would work. Meetings or not, the reminder to get out of our chairs and get moving is really important. A number of authors now use treadmill desks so they can walk while they write and do social media, etc. I’d love to try it out myself but treadmill desks are a big investment. Mind you, some people already own treadmills and can customize them to hold a computer or whatever they need to do their work. BTW, the advice I’ve heard is to sit for no longer than 20 minutes at a stretch. Get up, stretch, walk around the house, do a chore, etc., then come back to the chair.

  6. I’m guessing that’s because good ideas never really go out of style. Walking meetings would work best with smaller groups but ai think it would be interesting for larger meetings two for things needing brainstorming, people could break into groups of 2-3 and for for a walk/brainstorming session then come back and trade ideas. I bet there’d be some interesting results!

  7. Great post Pat
    We used to have “walk and talks” at work. They weren’t formal meetings, but boy did we ever get through a lot of stuff we needed to talk about.
    I find our chapter meetings long and would love to go for a walk at lunch. We should see if we can schedule that in.
    Love your ideas.

  8. This was a great idea for a blog post, Pat. And it made me think. On Monday, I had invited a neighbour (who looked after my house while we were away) for lunch and because it was sunny and looked glorious outside of my office window, I called her and asked if we could walk downtown. Being as how she’s an intrepid exerciser, she of course agreed and we had a lovely visit both on the way there and home again. Taking that premise a bit further, I can see no reason one can’t have walking get-togethers also. My only concern is that so many of these meetings nowadays are online. Guess there’s always a smartphone!!!

  9. I recently began feeling the need to back away from my computer and move! Although I spent a large part of my career behind a desk, I remember taking breaks (at least for lunch) and moving! Blogging is such a passion for me, that I literally forget to stop just to walk to the kitchen and make something to eat. My new goal is to shut it down for a daily stretch and walk. Thanks for reminding me to do so!

  10. What a great idea – walking meetings. Anything that gets us moving more. Time goes so fast when I’m at my computer. I think I’ll start using a timer.

  11. I think the walk to town and back for lunch was perfect. And with the spring weather walking get together a are a natural. I can see where on-line might be more challenging. Even if they can’t see you if you’re exercising while talking and they don’t know that they might be wondering what’s going on.

  12. I think walk and talks are a great way to meet and exercise. And I’m all for scheduling a walk in for our next meeting.As for this idea I can’t claim it as my own. I’ve just glommed onto it!

  13. Guilty… LOL. It’s funny how you hit me just at the right time. We’ve recently consolidated two homes and boy did I ever learn out much out of shape I was in. I used to walk every day and then I stopped for no good reason. I need to get back to it. :-)

  14. This speaks to me because I am really active. I have a sit down job and it is really hard for me to focus when I’m just sitting. I have raised my kids to be active as well. Our health is so important physical and mental and walking is a great way to keep a clear mind.

  15. So true! And passing good habits on to your kids is priceless. I’ve often gone for walks with my son and find myself connecting with him more than when we are sitting at the dinner table.

  16. The majority of my day involves sitting, so I try to make as much time for moving around as possible. A walking meeting is a great idea.

  17. I am standing as I read this post and type this comment. Since I work at home now, I don’t have meetings (Yay!), but if I did work a regular office job, I would love the idea of a walking meeting. At home, I have implemented a standing work station. Mine is not fancy. My laptop is sitting on top of a 36-inch bookshelf. When my feet or lower back start to get sore, or I want to get into concentration mode to work on blog posts, I sit. I’ve read a lot of articles that say we weren’t made to sit all the time. I know I feel better when I stand for some of the time. I have a lot less tension in my shoulders and neck. And, you also burn more calories when you stand!

  18. A standing work station is a great idea and alternating between the two is smart. To change it up a little you may want to do the SHORT, very short video on yoga exercises to start your work session. They’re actually done in a chair but give you a lot of benefits without you having to change out of your work clothes or invest a major chunk of time.

  19. I think it might be difficult to have a walking meeting unless the participants all liked to walk at a similar pace. It makes me kind of crazy to “go for a walk” with someone and not be able to keep a pace that would actually provide some aerobic benefit. I know of some other bloggers who bought FitBits to keep track of the number of steps they take a day. It’s probably something I should look into because I tend to be perhaps overly goal oriented. I use walks to have a meeting with myself sometimes. I find that I do some of my best thinking when I’m walking by myself somewhere where I don’t have to concentrate too hard on not getting run over by a bus. Then the problem is that if I don’t stop and write down the brilliant ideas that occur to me during my walk, it’s like they never happened by the time I get home. ;-)

  20. If you have something to record key points on as you walk that might work. Then you could just do a quick write-up after and have everyone do a quick check to make sure nothing was missed. Pretty sure there’s an app for that for anyone with an iPhone!

  21. Sometimes the meetings you have with yourself are the most interesting. Walking meetings are best for things like brainstorming ideas I think. Using something to record key points or ideas as you walk would stop them from disappearing but please make sure there are NO BUSES or any other type of vehicle around. I would miss you even though I’ve never actually met you in person :-)

  22. I’m a substitute teacher and often travel from one end of a school to the opposite corner and back. And let’s not forget the stairs. I often say that I signed on to teach, not get a workout.

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