Do you fidget or can’t keep your leg still?
Those little motions are actually good for you! Yes, these types of unconscious movements you perform throughout the day are can be positive for your health! These movements contribute to your daily Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or N.E.A.T., a term coined by Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. N.E.A.T. is the energy spent for every activity that is not sleeping, eating or regimented sports-like exercise. This includes activities such as fidgeting, walking up the stairs, tying your shoes, walking, standing, washing the car, cooking, mowing the lawn, doing laundry and more. Was it just me or did you or did you notice a lot of chores in there?
Sedentary jobs and activities have significantly increased as more and more jobs involve sitting in front of a screen all day. In fact, sedentary jobs have increased 83% over the last 50 years. And with the popularity of transportation innovations (Uber, we’re looking at you), people are walking less and less. Because of these technological advances, N.E.A.T. movement is more important than ever. N.E.A.T. and exercise make up 40-50% of our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) in active individuals, but as little as 5-10% in sedentary individuals. That’s a big difference.
Research shows people who increase their little movements on a daily basis are more resistant to weight gain and sit 2 hours less than those who do gain weight. Makes you want to move more, right?
It’s the simple extra movements that make a difference. Don’t sit on the train or bus, stand. Walk to the store instead of driving. Don’t take the elevator two flights, take the stairs. It’s your life; fill it with N.E.A.T. activities.