A healthier kind of meeting

News / General
By Peter Jeffrey

New adjustable tables support standing gatherings

Meetings are a great way to bring people’s minds together, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s seat has to be planted firmly in well, a seat. As part of our hospital’s employee wellness program, one of our conference rooms is now set up to host meetings where people can stand up.

Four new adjustable tables are now ready to go in the Dietary 2 conference room. They have electronic buttons on the front that smoothly allow the tables to be moved up or down.

“People in many areas of the hospital spend a lot of time each day sitting down. This now gives groups an option of being a little more active when getting together,” says Joanna Noonan, Manager of Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness. “Even if everyone agrees to stand up for just a part of a meeting, that’s a great start.”

The idea for the stand up option flowed from our employee engagement survey results that showed people were looking for more wellness support at work. And there is no doubt that cutting back on sitting is a healthy thing to do. Research shows sitting for long periods of time impacts our metabolic system and this can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression and other health problems.

“To stay more active, we’d also like to encourage people to take the idea of holding healthier meetings a step further by trying out a walking meeting,” says Noonan. “There are many great parks and green spaces around the hospital and during times of bad weather we have plenty of halls where people can walk and talk comfortably.”

Occupational Health is now looking into options to support more walking meetings, such as installing erasable white boards in some of our quieter hallways where teams can stop and jot things down during their walk.

Another handy destination people can keep in mind for gatherings is our interior courtyard. It’s a big outdoor space where a stand up meeting could easily be held. It also has five tables set up that could be used if they are available.

“We hope people will be inspired to use their imaginations and think up new ways to keep moving while at work, from taking the stairs, to standing up and walking more often,” says Noonan. “By remembering to move more during the day we can do a lot to improve our overall physical and mental health.”