Meetings often involve spending a lot of time in a seated position with minimal physical activity, limited access to fresh air and consumption of foods high in sugars and fats, such as cookies and other snacks during coffee breaks. The World Health Organisation has released guidelines for employers and meeting organisers to promote healthier and more sustainable meetings.

The guide includes the following simple yet easily applicable ideas:

  • ensure that fresh fruits and vegetables are the basis of any snacks provided
  • reduce portion sizes to discourage overeating and decrease food waste (for example, cut baked goods or sandwiches in half)
  • choose wholegrain foods such as whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice;
  • avoid offering sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas and juice drinks in favour of water, served plain or with the addition of fresh cut fruits, vegetables or fragrant herbs for additional flavour
  • choose products with lower salt content and request that caterers reduce the amount of salt in the menu – ask them to use herbs, spices and acids (vinegar and lemon or lime juice) for flavouring instead
  • offer participants appropriate opportunities to be physically active by incorporating physical activity into the meeting agenda or by allowing enough time during lunch breaks for people to be physically active and to refocus their minds

Read the full guidelines here