All Activity Counts Toward Weight Loss
How NEAT is this?
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT, refers to the calories you burn during physical activity that isn't categorized as exercise, like taking the stairs and cleaning the house, for example.
Research has shown that people who are heavier do not move around a lot during the day. In fact, in one study done by the Mayo Clinic, obese subjects burned 350 calories less per day than did the thin participants, and sat for 150 minutes more than the thin subjects.
It's thought that this may just be hard-wired into some of us. As a second part of this Mayo Clinic study, researchers, led by Dr. James Levine, helped the thin people gain weight and the mildly obese lose some weight to see if it made a difference in activity levels.
Regardless of their new weight, the originally thin people continued to move around a lot, while the originally obese people sat more and remained very inactive.
Making people aware of calories burned during daily activities may help with weight loss. All physical activity, not just working out at the gym, counts toward calories burned and a person's weight. Being a fidgeter really helps burn calories because you're moving muscles all day long.
If you think about it, you don't really need to move much at all in the "civilized" world. Most of us drive everywhere, park close to the door, use escalators and elevators, and have sedentary jobs seated in front of a computer. Our kids are inside at school most of the day, and are driven to carefully supervised activities.
Start MovingHere are some ways to increase your NEAT calories:
- Take the stairs whenever possible instead of the elevator.
- Make multiple trips up and down instead of all in one trip.
- Use public transportation instead of a car.
- Don't use the TV remote. Instead, get up and go to the TV every time you need to change the channel.
- Rake leaves instead of using a blower.
- Shovel snow instead of using a blower.
- Don't use a riding lawn mower. Use a manual mower.
- Play outside with your kids. It's more active than plopping them in front of a video or playing a board game.
- At work, move the wastebasket to the other side of the office. That way you have to get up out of your seat to toss your trash.
- Walk to someone's office rather than calling them.
- Use a more distant restroom so you have to walk a longer distance.
- At stores, park away from the door.
How many calories does a 150-pound person burn in 10 minutes?
To calculate calories you're using up daily, check out this Activity Calorie Counter.