Millions of Americans spend 8 hours a day sitting at their desks – and then go home and spend hours more sitting in front of the TV or computer. Recent studies show all that sitting could be putting them at risk for serious health problems, including heart disease, obesity and premature death.

Now some companies are trying to do something about it, with “walking meetings” to get workers out from behind their desks.

At her office in Arlington, Va., marketing and communications manager Jessica Tunon and her colleagues are giving it a try.

“We chat for about 20 to 30 minutes, to do some brainstorming,” she told CBS News’ Susan McGinnis.

Dr. Ted Eytan explains there are physical and cognitive benefits to being more active during the workday. “There are a lot of studies now about your brain – your brain functions better,” he said.

Eytan works for Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Total Health, which promotes walking meetings and has an indoor track for employees to use. He says he’s seen it have a positive impact. “People are more engaged and ready to take on the day.”

Walking meetings can help workers generate fresh ideas while they get fresh air.

Attorney Antigone Peyton says it works for her. “If we can get outside and get the blood moving, we feel like we can come back to the office fresh and ready to work again.”

Those who’ve tried it say walking meetings are best limited to small groups. If you’re thinking of trying it at your office, they offer one more piece of advice: Schedule it in advance so everyone knows to wear comfortable walking shoes.

Source: CBS
May 7, 2014