Moving More (and sitting less) with NEAT
Written by Thom Rieck, a wellness activity and assessment specialist at Mayo Clinic's Healthy Living Program.
Are you spending most of your day glued to your office chair? If so, you are not alone – the average American is spending about eight hours of their day seated. Physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth leading risk factor for early mortality, and unfortunately, that number may not be getting any better. Excessive sitting has even been found to be risky for those who are regular exercisers! Luckily, there may be a simple, no-sweat solution.
Adding in some “Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis” or NEAT to your day, is a great way to help combat the detrimental effects of too much sitting. NEAT movement is different than exercise; it’s all the other movement that you do throughout the day besides your workout. You are getting in NEAT movement when you park further away from the store entrance, take the stairs over the elevator, and stand instead of sit. All of these activities (even though they don’t generally feel like much effort in the moment) can really add up at the end of the day. We should aim for 150 minutes of NEAT movement per day to combat our sedentary lifestyles.
Whether you are trying to reduce your weight, manage blood pressure or blood sugar, reduce your aches and pains, or live a longer life, incorporating more NEAT into your day will help get you on your way. Stepping up and away from your chair may be the best way to get started.
Are you incorporating NEAT in your day?