Rebecca Hurley, Event Marketing Manager at BMA House
ARE YOU STAYING FIT FOR MEETINGS? STAND UP FOR YOUR HEART THIS FEBRUARY
According to a recent report, sitting down is the new smoking! But how are we embracing healthier habits in the workplace and moreover how we can improve our level of fitness when we attend long boardroom meetings and conferences which often require hours of sitting?
When a day is packed full of meetings it’s not uncommon for delegates to stand for no more than a few moments between breakfast and dinner. The benefits of striking a balance between sitting and standing extend beyond pure physical fitness, studies have found keeping active can also aid concentration. Improved concentration means improved meetings.
‘Stand up’ meetings are also gaining popularity. In fact standing up whilst conducting a meeting is not only good for your health, but it comes with the added benefit of boosting productivity. Participants stay more alert and are more eager to contribute. Try conducting part of your meeting by standing and see what happens.
February will see the BMA House events team taking part in the British Heart Foundation’s Wear Red day (Friday 6 February) and they will encourage everyone to take a break from work to write a short message on a paper heart about what they are doing to stay fit at work this year. Then delegates make their way to the BMA House Garden where they can hang their heart shaped messages from a tree. A great excuse to stretch their legs and enjoy a fresh glass of pomegranate juice by the pond – pomegranate, by the way, is very good for the heart.
Some other simple ideas to stay healthy and look after your heart in meetings:
- Encourage your delegates to walk as far as possible to reach a venue. Pedometers make a great gift to encourage everyone to get on their feet and if there is a small incentive for the most steps taken it creates a nice challenge.
- Walk together or in small groups and brainstorm as you arrive at a venue, changing routines can be healthy and you may find some good thoughts spring to mind along the way.
- Build in an active ‘icebreaker’ to the beginning of your meeting which involves everybody standing up and mingling.
- Don’t forget to give your delegates plenty to drink. Being dehydrated is counterproductive to good levels of concentration.
- Discuss with your venue caterers beforehand how to use the breaks and lunchtimes to perk up your delegates. Rememberhigh carb content lunches are best avoided. 2-3 hours after eating high carb meals delegates will begin to feel sluggish rather than motivated, wasting valuable meeting time.
- Opt for high protein meals which will make delegates more alert and they’ll find it much easier to concentrate. Nuts as a snack could mean a livelier team.
- Instead of having lunch in the boardroom, set up your lunch break in another part of the venue so you can leave the workspace and return refreshed and ready to go again.
The good news here is that despite everything we are still required to make the journey to reach a venue for a meeting. If we all allowed a little more time to reach a location we could get off one stop before our final destination and walk the rest of the way. This works well if you are meeting in a city – easy to do at the BMA as it is so centrally located.
Small changes in the way we work could drastically improve our health and our hearts for the long term. So make that change now!