June 14th, 2016

Now That's NEAT™

Today, sedentary lifestyles pose an enormous health risk, taking a toll on individuals as well as on employers. For many years the dangers of inactive lifestyles have been known. According to the World Health Organization, “Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally.”

“Physical activity” and “exercise” are not interchangeable terms. Exercise is a subcategory of physical activity and is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful with a fitness objective. Physical activity includes exercise in addition to other activities that involve bodily movement including playing, working, active transportation, household chores and other recreational activities.

NEAT™ stands for the science of NonExercise Activity Thermogenesis, and the science of NEAT™ tells us that activity, all activity, is important and has an impact on metabolic demand (caloric expenditure) and cardiovascular health. Even minimal activity increases one's metabolic rate, and over the course of a day the cumulative results of NEAT™ activity is significant.

Developed by the Mayo Clinic, NEAT™ refers to the energy we expend on activity we undertake outside of the gym and aside from sleeping or eating. Within the home, NEAT™ activity includes vacuuming, gardening, or sweeping the sidewalk. In the workplace it could include walking meetings, climbing the stairs, stretching during boardroom sessions, walking around, typing and even fidgeting.

Ways to incorporate more NEAT™ activity into your life:

Being purposeful about physical activity and exercise results in great health benefits. The NEAT™ program, developed by the Mayo Clinic, reminds us that anytime is a good time to get moving.