Locations

Coeur d'Alene

Phone: 208-667-2588
Toll-free: 888-208-2268
Fax: 208-664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way,
Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

cdactr@uidaho.edu
www.uidaho.edu/cda

How to Not Fall Asleep in Meetings | June 24, 2009

We spend countless hours sitting in meetings, and many moments doing the “whole head jerk, no-I-was-really-awake thing”, hoping nobody noticed. So, how do we prevent professionally lethal dozing during meetings? With Healthy Meetings, of course!! Research shows that meetings that offer healthful foods and plenty of exercise breaks are much more productive and positive.

When you are attending a meeting, be mindful that the two major times that we tend to nod off are around 10:00 and 3:00. Those are the times that our bodies are telling us to get up and move—but not to the back of the room for doughnuts and coffee. Those stretch break interludes and energizer walking breaks can be immensely beneficial to the productivity of a meeting. The other reason that we fall asleep (aside from boring speakers) is that we tend to overeat during meetings and indulge on the wrong types of foods.

If you are involved in planning meetings, use some of these general guides for meeting foods:

Daytime Meetings:

Serve low-calorie and low-fat foods
Serve fruit and veggie trays whenever possible- people can grab a plate and graze on these throughout the meeting.
Serve small portions (cut bagels, muffins or scones in halves or quarters)
Offer low-fat or non-fat cream cheese
Low-fat yogurt (fruit and yogurt parfaits make great break foods)
Pretzels or soft pretzels (cut in pieces) with mustard
Seasoned popcorn
Whole grain crackers and hummus
Dried fruit or trail mix
Serve flavored and plain milk (fat-free or 1%), 100% fruit or vegetable juice, bottled water, pitchers of water with citrus slices or unsweetened ice tea instead of soda

Lunch and Dinner Meetings:
Offer smaller portions and cut sandwiched in halves or fourths
Avoid heavy desserts—fresh fruit, a fruit crisp or cobbler or small cookies.
Include a vegetarian option
Provide reduced-fat or low-fat milk for coffee
Include whole grain breads and rolls
Use low-fat salad dressings and offer them on the side
Serve broth based soups
Limit meat servings to a 4 ounce portion and make sure it is, grilled, baked or sautéed.
Request raw vegetables or pretzels instead of chips or potato salads

If you are an employer, community group or faith organization, you can make your next meeting a hit by scheduling physical activity break times and by offering healthy food choices for snacks or meals. And if you are a meeting attendee, watch your portion sizes, and be sure to get up, stretch, and move around on your breaks. These moves are good for your health and your career.