Walk the Talk: A Walking Keynote About Walking As Work | Beth's Blog

Walk the Talk: A Walking Keynote About Walking As Work


Yesterday, I had the honor of doing a closing keynote at the Nonprofit Bootcamp in Silicon Valley on bringing activity and mindfulness into your work day.    If you have been reading this blog, you know that I’ve been very interested in the health and productivity impact of walking as work.    There is documented research that it not only helps you become more fit, but can also help with leadership development, team building, networking and relationship building, and creativity and innovation.  (More about the research in these blog posts)

And, I’m hearing from more and more nonprofit folks about doing walking meetings. Last week, during a convening at the Gates Foundation, they made up buddy up with another participant and go for a 20 minute walk to discuss one of the challenges identified by group.

I was the closing speaker of the day, always challenge when you are the person keeping people seated and the next session is the wine and cheese reception. My original plan was to do a brief overview and then have participants take a 20 minute walk on the Microsoft Campus to discuss what they learned during the day and then debrief about the experience.   But, due to some horrible traffic in the morning, the conference was delayed and running 30 minutes behind, so I needed to shortened my session to 15 minutes.

So, I decided to deliver this presentation as a walking presentation.    We walked as a group, follow the leader style, while I gave a 7 minute presentation on the benefits of walking as work.   It was captured on instagram here.

Click for Video

Have you incorporated walking into your work life?  How?

5 Responses

  1. I haven’t incorporated walking into my work life – and after reading your post and listening to a recent keynote by Nigel Paine where he also discusses the learning and productivity benefits of walking, I am going to do it. Obvious opportunities are during sessions I facilitate. I also think walking meetings with some of my team members (or even just a lunchtime stroll) would be beneficial. Thanks for the motivation.

  2. Beth says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for your comments. Great that you are getting started … start with making a few changes and build up.
    Do you have a link for the Nigel Paine keynote?

  3. We’ve started doing walking meetings in our office. They’re great for small group brainstorms, problem-solving/hashing out issues … anything that focuses primarily on brainpower and discussion. We’ve also found that walking can be a hindrance when you get to a point in the meeting that requires note-taking. I’ve never seen a walking keynote — I hope more presenters follow your lead!

  4. Michelle Ockers says:

    I’ve now done a 30 minute walking catchup with my manager and a one hour walking discussion of new directions with a process with one of my team members – both productive and enjoyable sessions. Good to get away from the constraints of referring to things on a computer and just freewheel ideas a bit.

    I’ll see if I can find a link for the Nigel Paine keynote.

  5. Michelle Ockers says:

    Beth – I’m not sure that Nigel’s keynote is published anywhere. I’ve storified it as part of my conference notes at this link:

    There is a slide where he is talking about brain health and notes the importance of physical activity. I think this is the section where he discussed walking and it’s value for learning and working.

    Cheers, Michelle