People at an exercise class.

Incorporating physical activities and breaks into meetings increases attendee energy and improves participation, attention span, and productivity. Activity breaks are an opportunity to be physically active for a short stretch break, a 5-10 minute movement break, or a 15-30 minute walking break. Activity breaks should be voluntary and adaptive to fit all abilities, and done at the attendees own pace and comfort level.

A white bearded guy smiling.


  • At least once an hour, attendees should be given a short break to stand up. This improving circulation and relieve discomfort from sitting for an extended period of time
  • Attendees may quickly stand up by their seat and stretch in place
  • Let attendees know at the beginning of the meeting that they are free to stand up and move around in the back of the room as needed


  1. Build time into the schedule for both short and long breaks
  2. Let participants know beforehand to wear comfortable clothing/shoes
A group of people sitting down stretching.


  • Encourage attendees to stand up and stretch in place or to the side
  • Select 3-4 stretches to lead the group
  • Allow time for seated stretching as well


  1. Have 2-3 different activities on hand so you are prepared
  2. Incorporate ice-breakers that encourage moving around the room
Woman at an office with eyes closed relaxing.

Breathing & Relaxation

Deep Breathing – begin meetings by leading a short breathing activity that encourages attendees to take slow, deep breaths and clear/calm their mind.

Belly Breathing – To help attendees renew their focus, reduce any stress they may be feeling, and bring a sense of calm, try leading a belly breathing exercise. With one hand on the chest and the other on the belly, instruct individuals to take a deep breath in through the nose, inflating the diaphragm and feeling a stretch in the lungs. Encourage individuals to take 6-10 slow, deep breathes for approximately 3 minutes.

Women in yoga poses.


  • Low-impact group activity
  • Dancing, yoga, aerobics
  • Easy to follow activities that work for any ability level


  • Consider bringing in an instructor to offer a short “class” to events that are a full day or longer
A man and a woman who seem to be walking.


  • In half or full day meetings, create time for attendees to have a 10-15 minute break and encourage attendees to go on a short walk
  • When breaking into small teams for brainstorming, offer the option of walk n’ talk meetings both inside or outside the facility
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