Over the last number of weeks, we’ve posted a series of blog articles on weight loss, movement and well-being, and escaping a sedentary lifestyle. All of these speak to a topic that we at HumbleWorks are passionate about Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT. Dr Levine, the pioneer of NEAT, explains:
‘NEAT is the energy expenditure of all physical activities other than volitional sporting-like exercise. It includes all those activities that render us vibrant, unique and independent beings… NEAT is expended every day in every way and can most easily be classified as work NEAT and leisure NEAT.’ - Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, Dr James Levine, MD
We are made to move. Being chair-bound for eight to ten hours a day is therefore going to jeopardize our health and well-being. As we spend so much time at work, our jobs will dictate our NEAT levels, unless we actively flip the switch.
Did you know that people in desk jobs in America only burn about 300 calories per day while at work? In contrast, someone who has a physically strenuous job can lose up to 2300 calories per day.
Many of us have no choice but to spend our working day in front of a computer. So how can we increase our NEAT activities in order to burn calories and get our bodies moving? Part of the solution is a standing desk from HumbleWorks, and the rest involves small, everyday actions that will increase our bodily movements.
Flip the switch and increase your NEAT
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis includes simple actions that every one of us could easily slot into our daily routines. By turning these actions into habits and gradually increasing the time we spend performing them, we’ll immediately start to burn more calories and improve our well-being:
- Walk and talk meetings
- Walk 30 minutes on your lunch break
- Park further away from your building
- Use a standing desk during the day
- Pace while talking on your mobile
- Use stairs instead of lifts and escalators
- Walk or cycle to and from work
NEAT is a way of life
Start thinking about how you can move your body more regularly and spend less time in a chair, sofa, car chair or desk chair. This will help you burn more calories during the day. An example given in Dr James Levine’s book, ‘Get Up’, is that a 30-minute exercise class may burn 200 calories, but an evening spent raking leaves in the garden may burn up to 1000 calories over 5 hours.
The point is simple: if we move our bodies and get out of our chairs more, we will be well on our way to burning more calories and feeling physically and mentally healthier. You can find out more about NEAT, why sitting for extended periods of time is unhealthy, and more about the root causes of sedentary lifestyles from our social pages and by following our weekly blog posts.
Until next time, remember to keep your shoulders back, your chin up, and own your work day!