How to have an active conference

Let everyone know this is a movement friendly event from the outset

At the opening ceremony tell everyone to get up and move when they feel the need.  Let them know how to do this without disturbing anyone (see below)


Get everyone on board

Ask speakers of >10min to integrate movement breaks into their slides

Ask each chair can remind people to move


Encourage active applause

After each speaker, stand to clap (or stretch, move)


Have plenty of areas for standing & movement

Lecture Theatre: Have the back rows designated as a standing area, if space allows people can stand at the end of rows

Group/Break Areas: Have standing tables

Workshop: Encourage movement around room, perhaps adding comments to a      central board, moving tables or standing discussion


Active Lunch/Tea Break Options

A guided walk in the local area at lunchtime

Walking networking

Consider including tasters sessions of activity

How to have an active conference


Personalised Sitting Break Jar

Despite all the benefits of reducing our prolonged sedentary time, sometimes its challenging to change our sitting habits.  Try this fun idea….

  1. Choose a few exercise or activities that you enjoy doing.
  2. Write the activities on separate sticks.  You may wish to group them, for example, strength exercise, cardio exercises, etc.
  3. Keep them handy in a jar where you tend to sit, at your computer or TV lounge.
  4. Create your own personal plan. Define how you want to break your sitting, for example, I am going to break my computer time every 30 mins, with 30 seconds of walking around the office and 30 seconds of a random jar activity.

Break Jar 2

What you need: Lollipop Sticks; Felt Pens; Jam Jar

You may also like to read Active Office Habits 


Active Office Habits

walking meeting

Here are a few ideas you may like to try at work.  Make small sustainable changes to your routine and gradually add more as each becomes a habit:

  • Avoid sitting for longer than 20-30 mins (use a prompt e.g. timer)
  • Change posture frequently in the day
  • Stand and stretch or step at your desk
  • Walk at lunchtime
  • Consider walking meetings
  • Stand and step when speaking on the phone
  • Take the stairs
  • Keep hydrated
  • Don’t use the closest toilet (unless you need to!)
  • Get other involved
  • Use active transport where possible

At conferences/events:

  • Communicate to the audience the opportunities to break sitting thought the day as part of the “housekeeping” at the outset
  • Encourage active applause (stand between speakers)
  • Have a standing area, perhaps the back row of the seating
  • Be creative with workshops, include plenty of moving around the room
  • Plan a guided walking group at lunchtime

Good luck!

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