No, that title is not the world’s worst slogan. NEAT refers to Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – a term coined by researcher Dr. James Levine to refer to the energy expended for everything we do outside of sleeping, eating and deliberate exercise.
Even the most routine daily activities – like fidgeting, typing or doing dishes – require a certain amount of movement and exertion that burn calories and stimulate circulation.
Even if you go to the gym every day, you probably expend more energy through NEAT than exercise. In fact, Dr. Levine’s book, Move a Little, Lose a Lot, details the surprising impact of our daily non-exercise activities. NEAT is like the positive twin of sitting disease – a seemingly trivial thing most of us do every day that’s having a much greater impact on our health than we ever imagined.
However, sitting all day at the office, during our daily commute, and in the evenings while we eat dinner and watch television decreases our NEAT scores.
“It is important the general public become more conscious about what they do in their nonexercise time,” says David W. Dunstan, professor at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, according to a New York Times blog post.
Levine found those who have sitting occupations burn about 700 calories per day through NEAT, while those with standing jobs burn about 1,400 calories per day. If you watch the calorie-counter while on the treadmill, you’ll find burning 1,400 calories by running can be quite exhausting. However, simply standing more during the day can get you closer to this milestone, and combat sitting disease.
LiveStrong published similar research on its website, saying standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting. Over the course of a year, increasing standing time by four hours per day can lead to 20 pounds of weight loss – and that’s without even breaking a sweat.
In other words, the VARIDESK adjustable height desk can increase your NEAT score while you work, and don’t we all love accomplishing more with less effort?