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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UMiami: Pilot Study Shows That Implementing Outdoor Walking Meetings Leads to More Physical Activity

While walking has a positive impact on human health, workers with sedentary jobs have few opportunities to increase their physical activity while at their jobs.

Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez, an assistant professor at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, conducted a pilot study to examine if walking meetings improve physical health, as well as if workers would be open to implementing them when conducting their meetings.

The pilot study invited office workers from a large university to participate in a three-week walking meeting protocol. The 18 participants wore an accelerator to measure their physical activity – week one consisted of collecting baselines, followed by two weeks of the organized walking meetings. Focus groups were also conducted during week three to document experiences with the protocol.

Dr. Caban-Martinez, the author of the study, found that participants not only preferred walking meetings over their regular-seated meetings but also saw an increase in their physical activity. During the three weeks, the average number of minutes that participants engaged in work-related physical activity increased – from 107 minutes during the baseline week, 114 minutes at week two to 117 minutes at week three.

Opportunities for Increased Physical Activity in the Workplace: The Walking Meeting (WaM) Pilot Study” was published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Preventing Chronic Disease. The study was also recently included in a CNN feature video and article.