Ask The Trainer:"What is NEAT?"
Feb 26, 2019
Christian Agudelo, ACSM - CPT
NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. In other words it is the energy expended for everything that isn’t sleep or eating or sports exercise related. Things like walking to the store or doing yard work even just sitting around and fidgeting are examples of NEAT. Burning calories throughout the day without thinking about traditional exercise is the reasoning behind the NEAT idea. The more you do in your everyday life the more you will be in NEAT. Its as simple as getting a stand up desk at work or in your home office to just sitting on the couch fidgeting with your hands or tapping your feet.
Earvin Bahena, NSCA - CSCS
NEAT or non-exercise activity thermogenesis are movements we make as we go about our daily routine. It is any type of physical movement that we do daily that is not planned or sport related. While small movements like fidgeting or tapping your foot may seem worthless, they are actually a form of NEAT. The idea behind NEAT is simple, if you keep your body in motion you will benefit from it (burn more calories, weight loss). Some ideas include using the stairs at the mall and not the elevator or go for a small walk on your lunch break, after dinner instead going straight to the couch stand around and keep your feet moving.
Spencer O'Neil, NASM- CPT
NEAT is one of my favorite forms of sneaking in extra calorie burn techniques. Simple things like taking the stairs every chance you can is a great way to get extra work in especially for those constantly on the go. Parking further away and forcing yourself to walk a little longer is another great strategy for increasing calorie expenditure. For those with long commutes I find that listening to music and tapping your feet to the beat is a great way to practice NEAT. Simple techniques like these create habits that will add up in the long run.
NEAT Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. There are 3 components of energy expenditure in our lives, BMR-Basal Metabolic Rate energy used at rest, TEF-Thermic Effect of Food which is the energy used for eating, digestion, and to keep our body functioning, and lastly Activity Thermogenesis in which Non-exercise Activity thermogenesis falls under. NEAT is strongly influenced by environmental and biological factors such as occupation, seasonal changes, living settings, gender. The best way to include NEAT in your life it to go about your daily routines but be a little more conscious of moving. For instance if you sit long hours at work, get up every 20 min for 20-30 seconds and stretch right where you’re standing or walk to the water fountain and get some water. Other options stretch when you’re watching your favorite TV show or sit on a bosu ball, choose to take the stair instead of the elevator, carry your groceries, get some daily chores in, maybe you need more encouragement so purchase a tracker to help signal how many steps you have achieved throughout your day.