Back-to-back meetings throughout the week can often mean no time to exercise for those in the corporate world.

But Auckland University staff now have no excuses thanks to the institution swapping meeting tables for exercise bikes.

Dozens of faculty, department and administration staff have signed up to the new Spin Meetings initiative as part of a push to help staff live healthier lives.

The idea sees faculty and department meetings being held at the university's recreation centre, with each staffer seated on an exercise bike.


Staff are encouraged to stand and cycle when it it is their turn to speak for a better workout on the legs.

Programme leader and fitness instructor Matt Newey said staff were more excited about coming to a meeting now and challenging themselves. "It not only gets people active, but helps build camaraderie between teams," he said.

"For some people, the gym is really intimidating. But having the support from your peers is really motivational and usually it's those people who just grab the opportunity and go for it."

Mr Newey is behind a number of health initiatives aimed at the university's staff; including a six-week Bene-Fit programme helping people with exercise and nutrition.

Spin Meetings are just one of many ideas that have popped up in workplaces around the world.

Desk cycles, standing desks and introducing compulsory exercising - with pay boosts attached - are among such initiatives helping towards a healthier workforce.

At Auckland University yesterday, members of the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Engineering were on hand to show off just how tough the spin meetings can be.

With each person able to adjust the intensity and speed they cycle, several were sweating by the end.

Professor Rosalind Archer, head of department for Engineering Science, said it allowed staff members - who sometimes only met via email - to meet each other, as well as motivating them to make more healthy choices.

"We've banned the snack box with all the junk food from our offices.

"Now we're working to get a healthier snack box, with nut bars and fruit, instead."