Have you ever heard of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)?
No? Well, I'm going to clue you in on this vital information. NEAT could be the reason why you aren’t losing weight and/or getting lean. It's THAT important.
“Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work,typing, performing yard work, undertaking agricultural tasks and fidgeting.”
-Endocrine Research Unit of Mayo Clinic
Here's what else they say:
"Physiological studies demonstrate, intriguingly, that NEAT is modulated with changes in energy balance; NEAT increases with overfeeding and decreases with underfeeding. Thus, NEAT could be a critical component in how we maintain our body weight and/or develop obesity or lose weight.
I'm sure you've heard 1000 times that you should be moving a lot throughout the day. How
can you truly ensure you're moving enough? Several ways. One way is to get a
pedometer. Yes, I know, that pesky little device which tracks your steps in a day. Your phone
should have one on it already. Why do I need to know my steps??? You really don’t. It is
just an indicator to see where you are at on a given day. Maybe an average person is
getting in 10,000 steps and you are at a desk all day and only get 1,000. That isn’t a very
NEAT- friendly day. Since you have an indicator, you can do something about it. Limited moving time at work means a mile around a track that evening or some swimming or a family bike ride.
How can you improve your NEAT at work?
Get up and use the restroom as needed. Within reason of course!! Your boss might be
thinking you are wasting time if you are trying to amp of your NEAT by restrooming it
15 times in an 8 hour period. If you're on the phone with a headset, pace in front of your desk, or get a balance ball chair and bounce while you work.
4. Playing with kids
5. Standing while you talk
6. Like Mayo Clinic states, “Fidgeting”
There are a multitude of NEAT activities. Like I stated above, just move a little bit.
Stretch while you are at your desk. ANYTHING. This can seriously add up in a hurry and
it really takes no effort at all other than“normal” human activity.
Go NEAT or go home.
Joseph Champa, RD, CSCS