Workplace Culture: Let's Get Physical

January 16 2015 / by Mari Ryan

Creating a workplace culture that supports well-being means looking for opportunities to incorporate GetPhysicalmovement into everyone’s day on a consistent basis. Being physically active is one of the best things you can do to increase your energy level. So how about an energy boost at the start of every meeting at work? A great way to do this is to start every meeting with a few minutes of physical activity.

Creating new habits or a new culture is all about consistently and frequently practicing the desired behavior. Incorporating physical activity into meetings can demonstrate how easy it is to be more active on a regular basis, and can also be an effective way to get the meetings off to an energetic, productive and fun start.

Like anything new, it might feel awkward at first. Encourage participants to come to the meeting prepared to stretch their bodies and their minds. As you create the meeting and physical activity habit, you may also experience the side effect of team-building and improved interpersonal connections. Not to mention the fun you will have!

You don’t have to be an aerobics instructor or even physically fit to lead a physical activity break. The key is to remember to have fun and be safe. Here are a few ideas to get started.

Send us photos of your meeting activity break at support @

Seating Switch-Up

Once everyone is present, call out random numbers drawn from a hat. Each person will stand and move so many seats to their right. For example, if you call the number 3, everyone stands and moves over three seats. Add some fun to the mix by designating a “winning” chair that has a prize attached to it, such as a gift card to a local coffee shop. The person who is seated in the winning chair after so many random number calls wins the prize.

Roll Call

Start the meeting with a stand-up roll call. Instead of reading names, call out terms related to participants’ individual responsibilities and ask them to quickly stand and sit back down again when they hear something that applies to them. For example, a marketing manager may stand when she hears the terms newsletter or brochure, and an accountant may stand when she hears the terms receivables and invoicing.

Two-Minute Movement

Set a timer for two minutes lead the group in simple stretches and aerobic activities (marching in place, jumping jacks, etc.).

Additional Resources

For more healthy meeting ideas download the American Cancer Society’s Meeting Well A Tool for Planning Healthy Meetings and Events.

Houston Chronicle. Fun Active Ideas to Start a Meeting. Retrieved December 30, 2014, from

 Valorie Bender, CWPM

View other articles in the Well-being at Work series: worksite culture of well-being, the essence of energy, what is well-being, social well-being, community well-being, purpose well-being, money well-being.

Topics: Worksite Wellness, Wellbeing

Mari Ryan

Written by Mari Ryan

Mari Ryan is the CEO/founder of AdvancingWellness and is a recognized expert in the field of workplace well-being strategy.