Replacing one seated meeting per week with a “walking meeting” helped white-collar workers increase their physical activity by 10 minutes, according to a new study.

The study, from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, looked at ways to improve the health of such workers, who tend to spend most of their day sitting in chairs.

In the study, published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease, researchers asked participants—white-collar workers recruited from the University of Miami—to wear accelerometers to measure their physical activity during the workday over a 3-week period. The participants were asked to also follow a “walking meeting protocol” that included guidance for leading meetings and taking notes while walking, according to a media release from University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

The participants’ average combined moderate/vigorous physical activity reported during the measurement period increased from 107 minutes in the first week to 114 minutes in the second week and 117 minutes in the third week, per the release.

“There are limited opportunities for physical activity at work. This walking meeting pilot study provides early evidence that white-collar workers find it feasible and acceptable to convert a traditional seated meeting into a walking meeting,” said the study’s principal investigator, Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of public health sciences at University of Miami, in the release.

“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,” he adds.

[Source(s): University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine; Science Daily]