I recently read an interesting article by Nilofer Merchant where she discusses the perils of too much sitting (We're averaging 9.3 hours a day, compared to 7.7 hours of sleeping) and presents a great solution – Walking Meetings.
Indeed, walking meeting is a great idea with many immediate and longer-term benefits. It increases our attention and improves our ability to actually listen to our counterpart at the meeting. It also has the added benefit of exercise, which most people don’t get enough of.
I would like to suggest another great idea: Using Public Transportation.
By that I mean using any public transportation (bus, train), except for a taxi.
I've been taking the bus for some time now. It started when I left my last position as a CEO of a public SW company to become a full-time entrepreneur. At that time, I also had to return my leased car and was left without a car for a while. I now have a car, and yet still use public transportation as my regular means of transportation.
Here are the benefits you can expect to get from using public transport:
- You get to walk, every day. On a weekly basis it adds up and for those who don't get a chance to work out regularly, it’s a sort of exercise.
- You get time to think and reflect. In our busy and hectic life these days we rarely get the time to simply think and let our minds wander for a while. Sitting on a bus or train for 30 minutes or more offers a great opportunity to do just that.
- You save money on fuel and parking, and reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a double bonus: You save money and the environment.
- You get to meet real people that you might not meet otherwise. It's a great way to get some perspective on your life and what truly matters.
I know it’s not easy to give up the comfort and convenience of your car. However, you can start by taking small steps. Take the bus or train when it’s a direct route, or when you know parking will be a challenge. Once you get over that first barrier you’ll find that the benefits far exceed that minimal inconvenience.
You never know, we might just start the next big social movement.