Walking Meetings: Taking Total Health Outdoors

“Total health is more than a visit to the doctor, and more than your medical care,” says Keith Montgomery, Executive Director of the Center for Total Health. “It is all those things, but it’s also your environment and your community.”

Walking meetings are one way the Center implements its community-focused approach to total health. Offered for events hosted at the Center, the on-the-move meetings are designed to get attendees’ minds and bodies active. Walking meetings don’t have to be a break from productivity – the ten to thirty-minute routes can be used as a brainstorm, ice-breaker or reflection.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary Conference in Washington, D.C., the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) joined the Center for a tour and walking meeting in late July. SNEB’s mission is to increase nutrition education at the individual, community and policy level. Its members work to address nutrition needs around the world, aligning with the Center’s efforts to help underserved communities gain access to healthy food.

The Center took SNEB members on a 20-minute walking meeting through the neighborhoods surrounding Washington’s Union Station. As we walked, SNEB member and founder of The Harvest Kitchen Jean Crum-Jones discussed the many benefits of being active outside, even on a hot D.C. summer day. Just a few minutes of physical activity can boost focus and creativity, an asset for meetings, classrooms and conferences.

As we walked through D.C.’s Stanton Park, Jean was excited to learn about the Center’s involvement with Park Rx, a program which connects people to safe, public spaces in their communities. By prescribing park visits to families, Park Rx can improve physical and mental health through exercise, foster a love for nature and encourage families to spend time together away from screens. Like walking meetings, our partnership with Park Rx is an example of the Center’s commitment to integrating total health into communities and lifestyles.

For Jean, this common-sense approach to improving total health for businesses and communities was the most impactful part of visiting the Center. Because of the Center’s walking meeting, she learned about a program that she can implement through her volunteer work in her home state of Connecticut.

The Center for Total Health hosts hundreds of events for organizations like SNEB every year, many of which take advantage of the Center’s walking meetings. If you are looking to host an event – whether it’s a small meeting, set of interviews or elaborate gala – the Center provides the perfect venue for highlighting innovation in healthcare. Our staff will work with you on how to create a healthier meeting that is fun, unique and informative. We have a wide array of event options to make the most out of your gathering. If you’re interested in planning an event, visit our events and tours page and send us a request.

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