Consistent movement throughout the day, however small or inconsequential it might seem, can add up to big health benefits. Similarly, it was this simple idea that inspired Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic to coin the term NEAT™ or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
For example, 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 the activity that comprises the majority of a person’s typical day. Moreover, 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.
In other words, it doesn’t take much to increase your individual NEAT™ or the NEAT™ of large groups of individuals.
As an example, an ambling 7-minute walk after lunch, choosing to stand at your desk for part of your workday, walking to the farthest bathroom, parking further away from your destination, or (as shown by a recent study) using a Varier Move are all easy ways to increase NEAT™. Additionally, putting these small, simple changes in action every day, and now you have a compelling health plan for the non-exercise part of your day. Furthermore, by doing this every day, week, and year, and you can reap significant health benefits over time.
Products that help motivate and track non-exercise activity may be eligible for NEAT certification.
Want to become a NEAT™-er Person?
Follow Dr. Levine – the father of NEAT™ – on how to become a NEAT™-er person.
About the Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic is an American nonprofit academic medical center based in Rochester, Minnesota, focused on integrated clinical practice, education, and research. It employs more than 4,500 physicians and scientists, along with another 58,400 administrative and allied health staff.