NEAT™ Certification

NEAT™ Certification

Sit Down. Move On. Get Healthy.

A Mayo Clinic study has now confirmed that using a Varier Move® in place of a regular office chair significantly increases caloric expenditure and may deliver long-term health benefits.

Consistent movement throughout the day, however small or inconsequential it might seem, can add up to big health benefits. It was this simple idea that inspired Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic to coin the term NEAT™ or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.

The philosophy (and the real science that backs it up) is that small changes to daily habits can mean BIG things when it comes to overall health and wellness. It’s the same philosophy that inspired the thinking behind the Varier Move.

NEAT™ describes the body’s energy expended when not at the gym, not out biking or running, and not scaling Mt. Everest. In other words, NEAT™ is a measure of the effect of activity that comprises the majority of a person’s typical day. The higher someone’s NEAT™, the more calories they’re burning. Over time, high NEAT™ behaviors and choices can add up to real improvements in cardiovascular health, help with weight loss, and improve overall health.

It doesn’t take much to increase your individual NEAT™ or the NEAT™ of large groups of individuals. An ambling 7-minute walk after lunch, choosing to stand at your desk for part of your workday, walking to the SECOND closest bathroom, far parking, or (as shown by a recent study) using a Varier Move are all easy ways to increase NEAT™. Put these small, simple changes in action every day, and you have a compelling health plan for the non-exercise part of your day. Do this every day, week, and year, and you can reap significant health benefits over time.

Mayo Clinic’s study looked at 30 individuals of varying age, body type, and gender. The test results showed that a Varier Move increased thermogenesis by an average of over 18% compared to sitting in a regular office chair. As a result, the Varier Move is now officially a NEAT™ certified office product.

Tested and proven by Mayo Clinic, we know that using a Varier Move in place of a conventional office chair is one of those small, important steps you can take toward better health.

Varier Move! Pretty neat, right?

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Deskercise With Coach Eddy

Deskercise With Coach Eddy

Deskercise With Coach Eddy.

Iconic chairs inspire active sitting.

Made to move with your body, Varier chairs inspire continual, controlled movement. You sit upright, engaging and strengthening your core muscles. Your feet and legs are in motion, which stimulates your circulation. Your shoulders and chest are open, making it easy to breathe deeply, boosting your blood oxygen levels, circulation, and general wellbeing. Enjoy the freedom of active sitting this summer with Edward ‘Coach Eddie’ Bergersen, a personal trainer and movement therapist based in Geneva, Switzerland. Coach Eddie has tailored a set of exercises for your chair that are easy to perform during short breaks in your busy day.

Angel wings

This exercise stretches the rotator cuff, the deep muscles of the shoulder joint. These muscles need to be strong in order for the ‘prime movers’ of the shoulder (the big superficial muscles that younger guys love to train) to function properly.

What to do:
Place your closed fists on your hips and puff out your chest. Without collapsing your chest, try to bring your elbows together. You’ll feel a deep stretch in your shoulders. Bring your elbows back and forearms in towards your body and ‘open up’ your arms, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Alternate between both positions so it looks like you’re ‘flying’ with your elbows.

Seated deep hip-rotator

Therapists and coaches call the shoulder the ‘mischievous younger brother’ of the hip. And just like the shoulder, the hip can also act up. This exercise targets the deep stabilizers, or ‘rotator cuff’ of the hip.

What to do:
Lower the seat until your hips are at a 90° angle to your upper legs. With your back straight, place one ankle on the opposite knee. Push your knee gently down until you feel a stretch in the hip. With your back straight, bend slightly forward to increase the stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side. To stretch the opposing group of hip rotators, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart, then bring your knees together, and hold for 20 seconds.

Note: if you experience any knee pain during this exercise, either skip it, or reduce the intensity of the stretch.

Palm peel

When we type or write, our wrist extensors (the muscles that lift the hand) are constantly contracted and the flexors (the muscles that bend the wrist) are constantly stretched. This can lead to conditions like mouse arm, or carpal tunnel syndrome. If you’ve had one or both of these, no explanation is needed. If you haven’t, trust me, you don’t want to know.

What to do:
Stand behind the chair. Grip the chair with one hand to stabilize it, and place the other hand flat, with your fingers pointing back toward you. Gently straighten your elbow to stretch your forearm. Then slowly bend your forearm and ‘peel’ your palm off the chair. Repeat five times on each wrist.

Straight-arm plank

An office version of a timeless classic, the plank activates the stabilizing muscles of your midsection, which unfortunately weakens when you sit for long periods. To activate your deep shoulder muscles, keep your arms straight.

What to do:
Stand behind your chair and lower the seat until it’s about halfway down your thigh. Place your hands on the seat like you’re holding a steering wheel. Step backward until your body is in a rigid plank position, and you feel your arms and core contract. To up the action, tilt your pelvis backward, and tuck your imaginary tail between your legs. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Ready for more? Tilt the chair so it balances on the edge of the base.

Note: only try the tilted chair version if you can hold the normal version for at least one minute.

‘Move’ assisted downward dog

One of my favorite yoga poses, the downward dog stretches all the muscles in the back of the body and improves circulation to the brain. But, busting out a downward dog in the office may be awkward. That’s where your Move comes in. Use the chair for balance, and to hide your embarrassment at sticking your butt in the air at work.

What to do:
Raise the chair to its highest position. Stand in front of it, with your hands on the seat, and tilt it toward you. Push the chair forward, while lowering your chest to the floor. You’ll feel the stretch in your chest, shoulder, mid-back, and hamstrings. Hold this position for a few seconds, then stand, pushing your hips forward and your hands downward and toward you. Repeat 10-20 times.

Seated chest and mid-back move

Long hours in front of a screen with your shoulders internally rotated, and rounded creates a lot of tension in the chest and mid-back. Unfortunately for your neck, it’s attached to your shoulders, so when they pull forward, your neck compresses into hyperextension. That’s not good. This exercise will ‘un-glue’ some of the stiffness, and liberate your neck.

What to do:
Grab the base of the seat and rock slightly forward in the chair, pulling your shoulders back, and pushing your chest forward. Hold this position for a few seconds then rock back, slowly releasing your grip, and reach forward. As you do this, turn your palms out and thumbs downward and in, while pushing out the mid-back. You’ll feel the stretch between your shoulder blades. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat eight times.

Seated forward reach

Tight hips? That’s because your butt is not a load-bearing surface. The hips need to be mobile, so give them a little extra love. A combined stretch and activation, it ‘switches on’ your lower back, and lightly stretches the hamstrings.

What to do:
Place your heels on the floor in front of you, and straighten your back. Slightly arch your back, reach your arms forward and bend at the hip. You’ll feel the stretch in your hamstrings and calves. Don’t bend the spine forward. Hold the stretch for five seconds, then sit up. Repeat five times.