So what is NEAT you ask? It is all the energy used that is secondary to planned exercise and weight training activities.

Last week I talked a little bit about incorporating NEAT (non-exercise thermogenesis) into a weight loss program. So today I will be expanding upon what exactly that means, and what it can do for you. The information for today’s post come from a study published in April of 2015.
So what is NEAT you ask? It is all the energy used that is secondary to planned exercise and weight training activities. For instance fidgeting, singing, walking, laughing, cleaning, standing, and any other movements throughout the day count towards NEAT (also see table at the bottom*). Individually these activities don’t use many calories, however, when combined the NEAT activities can generate a great deal burned calories. In fact, it is estimated that those who are lean and active burn and additional 350 calories DAILY compared to those who are sedentary. For such small changes in what you do on a daily basis those are some big results.
Here are some more highlights taken from the paper that I think you will find interesting:
– NEAT variability can explain the caloric expenditure differences in individuals with similar body types. Variances in work and leisure-time activities in individuals play a fundamental role in NEAT differences.
– By just doing simple daily manual task activities, NEAT can be enhanced throughout the workday and at home.
– NEAT decreases cardiovascular disease mortality and improves metabolic parameters.
– NEAT has good long-term adherence, with positive impact.
Check out the rest of the article at the link below, and I highly encourage you to take a look at the table at the end of this email to see what steps you can take to increase your activity. I think it is also important to remember that the ultimate goal is to create a sustainable healthy practices. There is no need to try and do all of these things at once, but to focus on creating one healthy habit at a time.
TableDaily Activities According to the Amount of Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
Activity Calories Burned per Hour
0-50 >50-100 >100-200
NEAT home activity
 Barbecuing/grilling X
 Cleaning X
 Clearing out storage space/garage X
 Cooking dinner X
 Grocery shopping X
 Hanging pictures X
 Ironing X
 Laundry X
 Organizing closets X
 Painting walls X
 Redecorating X
 Sweeping X
 Vacuuming X
General NEAT movements
 Climbing stairs X
 Pacing X
 Pushing a stroller X
 Riding in an automobile X
 Standing X
 Stretch band exercises X
 Stretching X
 Walking (strolling pace) X
 Walking and talking (briskly) X
 Walking around the home/office X
 Walking the dog X
 Walking to work X
NEAT yard activity
 Playing fetch with dog X
 Gardening X
 Mowing lawn X
 Planting flowers X
 Pruning shrubs X
 Raking leaves X
 Shoveling snow X
 Trimming hedges X
 Washing automobile X
 Watering plants X
 Weeding X
Hobbies and other recreational NEAT activity
 Baking X
 Bicycling X
 Bird watching X
 Playing board/card games X
 Bowling X
 Dancing X
 Fishing X
 Playing Frisbee or other outdoor games X
 Hiking X
 Journaling (while strolling) X
 Knitting/sewing X
 Kayaking X
 Playing the piano or another musical instrument X
 Reading (lounging) X
 Reading (standing) X
 Skiing (water or snow) X
 Surfing the Web (sitting) X
 Surfing the Web (standing) X
 Swimming X
 Practicing Tai Chi X
 Playing tennis X
 Watching TV X
 Watching TV on an elliptical trainer X
 Watching TV on a stationary bike X
 Watching TV on a treadmill X
 Playing video games (seated) X
 Playing video games (while moving) X
 Doing volunteer work (setting up/serving meals) X
 Window shopping X
 Practicing yoga X

TV = television.

*Mayo Clin Proc. n April 2015;90(4):509-519 n

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