It can be a secret weapon for those with weight loss goals, but for many, the answer to the question: “What is thermogenesis from non-exercise activity?” As much as is there life on Mars? puzzle.
Often abbreviated as NEAT, this invaluable health tool is much simpler than its name might suggest. Colloquially, it refers to calories burned during daily activities rather than formal exercise (also known as exercise activity thermogenesis or EAT). For example, the energy you use to fidget while walking to work, cleaning your house, or even sitting down falls under the NEAT umbrella.If you invest in one of the best fitness trackers (opens in new tab)you’ll be surprised how quickly all these activities add up!
And, while many people pursuing health goals place more value on the time they spend in the gym, tethered to their trainer or run for miles on the best treadmill (opens in new tab)the contribution of NEAT to a balanced lifestyle should not be underestimated.
A study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine (opens in new tab) 2007 highlighted the important role it can play in achieving healthy body composition. “The data support the core hypothesis that NEAT is critical in regulating energy expenditure and body weight regulation in the body, and that NEAT is important for understanding the causes and effective treatments of obesity,” said James Levine, director of the National Institute for Rare Diseases. The Ipson Foundation and the study’s authors.
Meanwhile, a Mayo Clinic study (opens in new tab) Described that “by avoiding sitting, promoting movement, and engaging in simple, repetitive, and creative activities, significant additional calories can be expended, leading to weight loss and possible prevention of obesity-related cardiovascular and metabolic complications”.
What is neatness?
While we have provided a brief overview of what NEAT is, we asked food spring (opens in new tab) Nutritionist and pH Nutrition founder Liam Holmes defines the concept.
“It’s the energy expended in everything we do outside of exercise,” Holmes said. “Almost anything that produces (calorie) burn can be classified as NEAT. It can range from walking around the house to walking the dog, gardening, playing with the kids, doing general chores, and even fidgeting.”
How many calories does NEAT burn?
The number of calories burned through NEAT can vary greatly depending on individual circumstances. For example, someone’s job can have a huge impact on their total daily energy expenditure; a worker standing up to perform physically demanding tasks consumes more energy than an office worker who spends most of the workday sitting still Much more.
“The number of calories burned can vary widely based on an individual’s job,” says Holmes.He cites published in Best Practices and Research Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (opens in new tab)said: “This is a key determinant because people who sit at a desk often consume an average of 400-500kcal per day compared to a builder or farm worker who can burn up to 2000kcal.”
In this way, NEAT generally burns more calories than formal exercise or EAT, he says—although the amount of energy you burn through EAT depends on the type and duration of exercise you’re doing.
“There are many variables in the energy expended during exercise, such as how much effort you put in, your skill level and type of training,” Holmes said. “If you cycle for an hour and then walk slowly, you’re probably burning between 400-1200kcal compared to a very hard worker.”
However, in most cases, only athletes who participated in “multiple daily prolonged endurance exercise or very high-intensity training” burned more calories per day with EAT than with NEAT.
How important is NEAT for weight loss?
NEAT is an “essential tool” for those working on their body restructuring goals, such as weight loss, Holmes said. That’s because, while all of us except elite athletes have a limited amount of time each day to exercise, there’s a lot we can do outside of the gym to burn calories.
“We have to remember that there are two ways to create a calorie deficit,” Holmes said. “Reduce energy input and increase energy output.” In other words, consume fewer calories through food and more calories through increased daily activity levels (EAT and NEAT).
“Increasing your NEAT and incorporating it into your day is a great way to create a calorie deficit without having to reduce your intake further. It’s also an increase compared to adding more exercise to your routine A much less stressful way of energy output. Research has shown that people with higher NEAT are more successful at maintaining their target weight than people with lower NEAT.”
A study published in the Journal of Sports Nutrition and Biochemistry (opens in new tab) 2018 further reinforced this. It states: “NEAT is a highly variable component of daily TEE (total daily energy expenditure), and low levels of NEAT are associated with obesity. NEAT improves lifestyle, and changes in personal and environmental factors can significantly affect daily energy consumption.”
How to increase your NEAT
Given the many health benefits NEAT has to offer, Holmes’ most important advice to those looking to increase thermogenesis from non-exercise activities is simple: “Get moving!”.
You can make substitutions in your daily life, such as walking or biking instead of driving, or taking stairs instead of jumping elevators, to increase your total daily energy expenditure.Another option is to invest in a standing desk or one of the best walking treadmills (opens in new tab)so you can walk while working.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): a component of total daily energy expenditure (opens in new tab)
Non-exercise activity heat production (NEAT) (opens in new tab)
Non-exercise activities produce heat? Liberate vitality (opens in new tab)
Thermogenesis of non-exercise activity in obesity management (opens in new tab)