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What is NEAT?

03 Oct

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue does it? But it is pretty NEAT.


NEAT is the energy you expend other than sleeping, eating or sports/fitness related exercise.  So, if you prefer – the incidental exercise/calorie burn from day to day living – walking around, housework, work, shopping, looking after the children etc etc

As more and more research suggests that you can’t out exercise the effects of a sitting job http://observer.com/2016/11/why-you-cant-undo-sedentary-work-with-exercise/ I believe increasing or maximising your NEAT output is going to become even more important!   Simply moving more and sitting less will significantly benefit your health.

Your body is always burning calories.  Even when you are lying still – this is called your Base Metabolic Rate.  Move from lying still to sitting still, you’ll burn more.  Move from sitting still to moving/fidgeting and you’ll burn more etc etc.

I realise how fortunate I am to have a job which sees me moving around for most of the day.  When I’m training clients I’ll be lifting/organising equipment etc. But it hasn’t always been like that – I’ve previously worked a 9-5 desk job and know how challenging it can be (as one of lifes natural fidgets!) to be still for so long, now science says we should embrace our inner fidget rather than supress it!

I’ve previously blogged some ideas for increasing incidental exercise in your day so take a look http://www.sussexzest.co.uk/blog/do-you-maximize-incidental-exercise-in-your-day/
I challenge you this coming week to try one of the following if you work at a desk:

Take the stairs not escalators or lifts.
Schedule an outside walking meeting at work.
Look at products which can keep you moving even whilst sitting like Kelly Starretts fidget bar.
Take regular breaks to stretch and review your posture.
Rather than one big bottle of water use a small one so you have to fill it up regularly (and walk to the water cooler to do so!)
Get up and walk to colleagues desks rather than email/phone

Or even better share your own ideas via our social media so other Zesties can join in


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