What is NEAT?
NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
NEAT is all the energy that we burn when we’re not sleeping or intentionally exercising.
EAT is the energy that is burned while we’re exercising – and this is where too many people focus too much when trying to lose weight.
What you do for a job massively impacts your NEAT – since those people who spend hours a day on their feet moving around are burning way more energy than those people who are tied to a laptop or sat at a desk all day.
There’s no way that everyone can suddenly get a job as a postman (or woman) or a builder to add hundreds of calories to their NEAT, but there are plenty of ways that you can increase your daily burn even if you are very sedentary.
One simple method is to make sure you’re getting up from seated every hour to move around but that takes a lot of conscious thought so isn’t always realistic.
But intentionally booking a walk into your work diary can work, and you can always try and up your NEAT during your leisure time by staying off the sofa for hours every night. So let’s talk more about ways you can increase your NEAT.
1. Take the stairs
When you’re out and about, whether it’s at work or for leisure purposes – bypass the lifts and escalators and get on the stairs. Now we’re talking about walking and moving against gravity!
2. Get a standing desk
Can you stand up to do your emails and work calls?
This is a great way to improve posture, reduce back and neck pain and burn more energy as you’re fighting gravity instead of being slumped on a chair/
3. Break up your day with activity
Maybe it’s playing with the dog for 5 minutes every hour or maybe it’s walking to the local coffee shop for a drink instead of to the kitchen and back. If you’re spending a lot of time on the phone can you take some of the calls while out walking?
One tactic that is currently working well for some of our bespoke nutrition clients who work from home is to walk to and from work each day so that the day is broken up, they’ve been outside for a while each day and there’s a cut off point in the evening after work.
4. Do your errands
We know that online shopping is super easy and convenient but sometimes it’s too convenient.
Could you walk to a local shop for something that you need rather than picking up your phone and hitting Amazon? Posting letters – could you walk to the postbox instead of driving there or getting someone else to do it for you? Going to visit a friend – can you walk there?
5. Do your own chores
We know that people are short on time these days, but your own housework can be a great way to stay active. We know that it’s more effort to mow the grass than paying someone to do it for you, but that’s why we encourage you to do it (you might even get some vitamin D while you’re at it!).
Just 5-10 minutes of hoovering and tidying in your house a day over the week really can add up when combined with other little habits.