New Healthy Meeting Guidelines offer practical suggestions on how to hold a healthy meeting in your workplace.
11 May 2018
By June Shannon
Spending hours on end in meetings is nobody’s idea of fun, so how about taking the opportunity to get active by holding a standing or walking meeting instead?
These are some of the suggestions contained in new Healthy Ireland Guidelines on healthy meetings in the workplace which include advice on serving healthy food options at meetings or conferences and taking regular activity breaks.
The Healthy Meeting Guidelines, which were launched this week at a Healthy Ireland event, aim to help you prepare for meetings and offer practical suggestions on how to hold a healthy meeting in your workplace.
According to the guidelines, “activity breaks and healthy food options in meetings can increase productivity and creativity.”
The guidelines advise providing water and easy to peel fruit
For meetings that last up to four hours the guidelines advise providing water and easy to peel fruit, while longer meetings that last all day should also include a healthy lunch.
When it comes to a healthy lunch for attendees, the guidelines suggest avoiding foods high in fat, sugar and salt, like pastries, biscuits and crisps and instead include healthy sandwich fillers as well as vegetarian and low-fat dairy options.
If you normally provide scones at breakfast-time meetings, consider smaller wholemeal scones and avoid large portions by serving food in easy-to-eat servings.
The guidelines also advise encouraging activity and suggest that you plan activity breaks into the agenda, regardless how long the meeting is. However, it is important to be sensitive to ability and disability levels.
Consider standing meetings for shorter, less formal meetings or a walking meeting
Additional ways to build activity into a meeting is to consider standing meetings for shorter, less formal meetings or a walking meeting for meetings where only two people are taking part. Use signs to encourage use of the stairs instead of the lift and provide directions to the meeting promoting active travel, for example give walking and cycling routes and identify and offer secure bike parking facilities
The Healthy Ireland guidelines also advise people to communicate the idea of healthy meetings within the agenda, so attendees will know what to expect.
For example, you could state: “We are supporting the concept of healthy meetings. Water will be freely available. Fruit will be provided, and you will be given the opportunity to stretch your legs after one hour. The aim is to increase the productivity of the meeting and make the most of everyone’s time.”
The Healthy Ireland Healthy Meeting Guidelines are available to download here