Think about how much time you spend just moving around the house…
Ask yourself “How much do I move each day?”
If you’ve answered only the walk to the bedroom and kitchen the you wouldn’t be alone. Isolation has forced us to this way and with good reason. However, it is still important you aim to increase your daily physical activity through “incidental exercise”.
Most of you have heard the term but may not have been told the true reasoning behind it? So we thought we would tell you about the term ‘NEAT’ and why us as Exercise Phyiologists LOOOOVE when our clients have a high energy output through NEAT.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy that our body expends when performing activities of daily life that excludes eating and sleeping (BMR), exercise or sport specific activity (EAT), and the thermic effect of digesting food (TEF).
NEAT encompasses the energy expenditure for all other forms of physical activity or movement such as walking the mailbox, fidgeting in your chair, gardening, typing or even just standing up right. These activities, even the most miniscule add up quite significantly resulting in NEAT being responsible for a large portion of each person’s Non-exercise related energy expenditure.
Don’t underestimate the benefits of just moving around!
NEAT is one of the most influential variables when it comes to altering body composition. Now that many people are working from home or remaining isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic, our NEAT will consequently decline.
People often overestimate the number of calories burned during a single workout or training session (around 1hr of the day) and underestimate the number of calories that could be burned by staying active throughout the rest of the day. This can actually be far more impactful when attempting to change or maintain one’s body composition during this period of isolation.
What can you do?
Try this challenge:
Create a list of tasks and activities you need to do around the house and then use this to try break up your day with a small bout (10-20min) of movement or activity every 2-3hrs, such as:
- House work
- Cooking / preparing a meal
Reflect on a day of more general activity and see if you feel more tired or fatigued. If yes, then you are working towards your body adapting to this new level of daily movement.