Got a meeting? Take a walk

Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a “walking meeting” — and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

Got a meeting? Take a walk

And this article will help you answer the following questions about “Got a meeting? Take a walk“ or:

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Meetings work better when you’re walking.

We’ve all heard the dangers of sitting for too many hours, and yet we all do it. Author and speaker Nilofer Merchant has a solution: Take all your meetings walking instead of around a conference table. Not only will it make you healthier-she herself walks 20 to 30 miles a week this way-it will help the free flow of ideas.


This isn’t an ordinary conversation lesson about how meetings steal our time at work but rather how unhealthy our sedentary lifestyle is and what we already know about it. In this super-compact TED talk “Got a meeting? Take a walk” (just 3:30), Nilofer Merchant speaks about how sitting affects our health and what we can do about it! (No! It’s not jogging!) From the practical side, your students will have 2 listening comprehension tasks and learn new informal language.


The worksheet should be definitely used with working adults as it often refers to the office life. It’s not a Business English lesson but it does focus on the professional part of the students’ life. We created this conversation lesson to raise awareness of a serious civilization problem. Additionally, it stimulates students with an informative speech which hopefully leads to a lot of discussion. The first two activities are warm-up speaking tasks which may take a bit of the lesson time, however, I let my students talk here extensively.


Instead of traditionally doing some vocabulary tasks, students first watch the TED talk. They need to do two ‘listening for details’ tasks based on the talk3. The video is divided into two parts so you can easily let your students watch both parts twice if they don’t get it the first time. The first listening comprehension task is focused on identifying figures and what they refer to, whereas the second one is a fill-in-the-gap task, where students need to listen for one word.


The next task is about informal/slang language which is later used in the discussion points (exercise 6) to reinforce new vocabulary and give students an opportunity to use them in speech.
If you are interested more on this topic or want to add some extra information then just check Nilofer’s reading list with links here or use this great fact-based infographic about the harmful effects of sitting. You may find there some interesting data and improve this lesson!


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