Friday, January 29, 2010

Benefits of "Walkmeeting"

More and more, I am trying to see how we could manage hospitals similar to how we manage our own personal lives. It typically involves having a plan that can be managed monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly. Financially, it may be a matter of ensuring that you have money tucked away to make your house or car payment. From a health standpoint, it is a matter of what you eat and how much you exercise. From a family standpoint, it reflects how much time you spend with family.

Hospitals and other businesses typically have "scorecards" to reflect their expected outcomes. The challenge continues to be understanding the "Plan" to ensure these outcomes.

Obviously to have a healthy organization we must start by having associates, volunteers and physicians who are healthy in mind, body and spirit.

One of our Radiologists, Dr. Luke, was sharing his fitness plan with me the other day and called it his POE (Program of Excellence). He indicated that all our progress at work, at home and in the community revolves around an individual's commitment to the 5 "Ds:"
- Dedication
- Determination
- Discipline
- Drive
- Desire

So I have been thinking of ways I could help contribute to our overall health and hope others will do the same considering the 5 "Ds" above.

This week, I had close to 50 hours of "meetings." While these meetings focused on our strategic direction, operational improvements and community outreach, they also were "sitting meetings." Starting this week, I have started to add "walking meetings" which are easy to do when meeting with one or two other people. It helps keep us visible and active. In addition, even though we may see others along the way, it is usually no more than a one-minute stop which may save you from adding other meetings and may resolve issues in a more timely manner. This week, I had a chance to walk with Jeri, the head of Volunteers and Auxiliary and Cheryl, the head of Radiology. First, Jeri told me I needed to pick up the pace so I was more prepared when walking with Cheryl. While Cheryl and I were "walking and meeting" (perhaps we should call this "Walkmeeting" for simplicity's sake), we came across another manager we needed to see in order to resolve an issue. It was addressed immediately (thank you Ben).

As many of us know, there are great benefits associated with brisk walking (source:
-It helps to fight against stress, by providing complete relaxation to your mind.
-It protects you from the clutches of diseases like osteoporosis, colon cancer, constipation etc.
-It increases the longevity of your life, by maintaining your fitness.
-It helps in reducing the problem of depression, thus enabling you to derive mental peace.
-It relieves you from backache trouble and also acts as a great remedy for arthritis problem.
-It helps in increasing your flexibility, by strengthening your muscles, bones and joints, thereby toning your body.
-It ensures that you have a proper sleep at night.

Also, I checked out and am now a regular on (there is even a free iPhone application). This allows you to add your health goals and includes tracking your eating and exercise to achieve these goals. It is a great site. By walking an hour while meeting, the average person will burn at least 200 calories. Just consider having the discipline of adding Walkmeetings 3x/week over 48 weeks (allow for vacation and holiday time). This would burn an additional 600+ calories/week or 28,800 calories. This would allow the average person to lose an additional 8+ lbs during the year in addition to their regular fitness and health regimen...this includes throwing in one piece of cheesecake on New Years (according to #6 in my office) or three pieces of birthday cake. Not bad for changing how you meet with no additional time added. Plus, it sets a great example for our kids and our future. After all, once we set the example for our kids, they will be the ones taking care of all of us later in life.

Enjoy your weekend.

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