Walking meetings can be a great way to connect with co-workers while staying active.

Walking meetings can be a great way to connect with co-workers while staying active.

Productive meetings start with nutritious snacks and room to move!

Boost employee wellness and productivity with a few simple steps

As we fill our days with meetings or long stretches at the computer, healthy choices are often the first things to go.

“Typically meetings are extremely unhealthy – all you’re doing is sitting there, sometimes in a stressful situation, and often with poor food choices, so there’s a greater risk for eating and drinking things that aren’t good for you,” explains Dr. Khushboo Mehta, Program Chief of Family Practice at Kaiser Permanente, who also practices family medicine at the Redmond Medical Center.

Studies have shown that even small changes can have significant results. For example:

  • after one day of healthy eating, employees were 25 per cent more likely to feel good about their work
  • getting employees moving can improve their physical health: too much sitting is associated with increased risk for at least 35 chronic diseases.
  • a few minutes of walking can boost the flow of creative ideas by 60 per cent – even after you sit back down!

The good news is that giving your meetings a healthy boost is as easy as 1, 2, 3!

It starts with what Dr. Mehta calls “damage control” – small, simple changes you can make right now.

  1. Eat Well – At Kaiser Permanente, for example, guidelines outline a variety of healthy food options for meetings, considering factors such as fiber, fat and calories. No, you won’t find cookies, donuts or sugar-laden juice on that list, but hearty, flavorful options like low-fat cheese and fresh fruit for breakfast, and a salad bar or healthier sandwich options with lean meats and for veggies for lunch. Satisfy between-meal munchies with selections like fresh veggies with hummus, fruits and nuts, still or sparkling water, low-fat milk, coffee and unsweetened teas.
  2. Get Up & Move – Nothing saps energy and creativity like long meetings with people stuck in their chairs. Dr. Mehta likes to break things up with opportunities to stand and move, or simply encourage people to stand up, stretch or get some water – small things that help refocus attentions. For those stuck at their desks, try setting a periodic reminder to stand and stretch or have a brief walk around the office or around the block.
  3. Walk & Talk – Taking the movement message one step further, Dr. Mehta is a big fan of walking meetings for smaller groups, and her team often starts the day with a 20 to 30-minute walking session. “When we finish, people are energized for the day,” she says. Employers can also support employee wellness by offering options like standing desks and making available tools like stretching bands and fitness balls.

We may spend most of our day at work, but a few small steps can make those days healthier, happier and more productive!

***

Recognized as one of America’s leading healthcare providers and not-for-profit health plans, Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. Learn more at kp.org/share.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheeses are good – and good for you – choices for meeting snacks.

Fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheeses are good – and good for you – choices for meeting snacks.

Fruits, vegetables and low-fat cheeses are good – and good for you – choices for meeting snacks.

More in Marketplace

Find beauty right in your garden this spring!

With contactless delivery options, Cedar Grove helps you get in your garden this spring

While people may be staying closer to home right now, nutritious and delicious meals are as close as Gourmet Meals to Go, delivered right to your door.
5 simple steps gets custom, restaurant-quality cuisine to your door!

We might not be dining out much right now, but that doesn’t… Continue reading

Future looks bright for popular Redmond cannabis shop

Hashtag Cannabis preparing for move to large new site in downtown Redmond, café to be added

A little bit of Italy in downtown Redmond!

Salvatore and Valentina Lembo bring a passion for authentic cuisine to new family-friendly eatery

Bail agents Taylor Nakamura, left, and Cherokee Pierce, who run All City Bail Bonds’ Sixth Avenue location in Seattle, work closely with families to help them navigate the court system and secure access to community resources.
Human factor personalizes the bail system

All City Bail Bonds agents support clients and their families to make positive change

Chef Murray Fields recently opened his state-of-the-art kitchen in Tukwila as the heart of his Gourmet Meals to Go.
Gourmet to Go can be this good!

Chef makes it simple to enjoy restaurant-quality cuisine at home or office

“I wish I’d found you years ago!”

Giving chronic migraine sufferers hope at Bothell clinic

5 reasons to get excited about what’s coming to the heart of Redmond

The amenities at the brand-new Hilton Garden Inn will appeal to locals and visitors alike

Excitement is building for Redmond’s coming sip and savour destination!

Hilton Garden Inn’s Fork and Spoke will be your downtown food-and-beverage hub

Airport Winter Weather 101

When the weather outside is frightful … and you’re worried your trip… Continue reading

(Lucky Louie Fish Shack photo)
Savor the Season at SEA!

SEA Airport is bustling during the holiday travel season! In the midst… Continue reading

Four reasons you’re waiting on the plane at SEA

You’ve just landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) after flying for what… Continue reading