Need new ideas? Try a walking meeting

Written by 
erep kristi menear phd 550pxKristi Menear, Ph.D., has been leading walking meetings in the School of Education for nearly five years.

Kristi Menear, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Human Studies at the School of Education, started leading walking meetings at the school in fall 2019. These are small-group meetings, she explained — “one-on-ones or up to a maximum of four people, so the group stays together and can make eye contact.”

The School of Education’s wellness committee mapped out indoor and outdoor walking trails in its home in the Education and Engineering Complex, so there are options for nice weather and for steamy or stormy days as well. “Where we walk is personal preference each time and depends on factors such as attire, shoes, weather, need for confidentiality and how long the meeting will last,” Menear said.

Here’s Menear’s advice for anyone looking to start a walking meeting:

Plan ahead. “Discuss ‘walking meeting’ when the location of the meeting is being determined. That way, everyone is prepared — bringing their walking shoes, for instance.”

Will it work on the go? “Walking meetings work best when the purpose of the meeting is discussion and people will not need to use electronic devices or read paper during the meetings.”

Need new ideas? Go for a walk. “We have found that the movement, change of scenery and level of engagement during the walking meetings all lead to a lot of idea generation … [and] “be prepared to take notes during the meeting, which can be done on a smartphone or small paper notebook.”

Give it a try. “Try a spontaneous walking meeting when you stop to chat with someone you just ran into. Walk for five minutes together and catch up with each other while you are walking.”

Set a goal. Keep the practice going by “setting a goal for yourself to have a minimum number of walking meetings over a given period of time.”

Mapped walking trails abound at UAB. The trail around the Education Engineering Complex below covers 0.42 miles. Raining or just too hot to walk outdoors? Download indoor maps from the EEC, UAB Hospital and many more buildings on campus at

erep engineering trails 900px