How many times have you been to a business or group meeting and someone places a giant plate of sugary cookies or candy in the center of the conference table? Or opens up a family-size bag of potato chips to pass around? Or lines up liters of soda with paper cups on the credenza?
Even if you are committed to eating a healthy diet, it is too easy in these situations to just cave in and nibble away unconsciously at these treats. And before you know it, you have eaten more than you intended (particularly if the meeting is tiresome or long).
We spend a lot of time at work — and many of these hours are spent attending meetings. Businesses and organizations are beginning to become aware of how bad eating habits at meetings can chip away at the health of employees. For that reason, some businesses are implementing “healthy meeting policies” — that bring healthier habits (such as healthy snacks and drinks) and even exercise breaks —into the culture of an organization.
In our community, many of our Organizational Champions are well on their way to making company meetings, workshops and conferences places where healthy attitudes are practiced.
We applaud a move by the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce — our Organizational Champion of the Month for August — for recently putting in place its own “Healthy Meeting Policy.” Throughout this summer, the Chamber worked closely with us to develop and implement a policy that ensures that attendees of Chamber meetings and functions will be able to make healthy choices. For example, the policy ensures that meetings, including after-hour business get-togethers, will provide water and healthy food and beverage options, and lengthy meetings will include physical activity breaks.
To learn more about implementing a healthy meeting policy in your own company or organization, contact the Healthy Monadnock team or visit www.healthymeeting.org for a free downloadable Healthy Meeting Toolkit (development by the members of the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity). The toolkit offers plenty of tips and ideas for helping make hosting healthy meetings easier.