After this lesson, you will have three NEAT activities to complete each day. So don’t forget to incorporate them into your Activity Log!
Merely moving from sitting to standing can substantially increase your energy consumption. When you stand, you begin to use weight-bearing NEAT – and one of the great advantages of weight-bearing NEAT is that the heavier you are, the more calories you expend. That’s good news, because it means that if you’re overweight you can start off slow and still receive the benefits of increased movement.
At work: Get out of your chair as much as you can. Stand when talking on the phone, using a mobile phone, an earpiece, or a portable headset, even if you have to buy it yourself. Get rid of comfy couches and get a “standing desk.”
At home: All of the above, plus stand while you prepare meals, wash dishes at the sink, iron clothes, watch TV, and read the paper.
Evaluation and Goals: Measure the minutes per day you spend standing, and aim to add ten additional minutes of standing per day, striving to reach two hours of standing per day.
Energy expenditure: 1 kcal per minute of standing, with a potential of 120 kcal per day.
NEAT Points: 1 per minute of standing.
When I talk about walking in terms of NEAT, I’m referring to anything outside of a formal walking program. That includes going to the water cooler, delivering a memo to your boss, or shopping for that new dress at the mall. The point of NEAT is that it takes place within your normal routines, so it doesn’t require a lot of extra time or effort, but it means your Weekly Habit of Health to walk 30 minutes a day doesn’t count (so no padding that score!).
At work: Walk around the room when you’re on the phone, walk to work or park your car farther away, talk to coworkers in person rather than by e-mail or phone, have walking meetings, choose the farther restroom and water cooler, have your lunch (or fueling) in the park, try out a “walk and work” desk.
At home: Take the dog for a walk, meet people face to face rather than shouting from the other room, go to the mall and window shop, park your car as far as safely possible from your destination, walk on the beach instead of sunbathing, pass on elevators, escalator, and drive-thrus. Get off the couch!
Evaluation and Goals: Measure your steps from the time you get out of bed in the morning until you lay down at night (a good pedometer will help), with a goal of adding 100 additional steps per week, striving to reach a target of at least 10,000 steps per day (a mile is about 2,000 steps).
For strolling, you have the potential to burn 100 to 300 kcal per day, but calculating your energy expenditure can be a little tricky. To make the calculation, do the following:
1. Take the number of steps you’ve added since beginning the program.
2. Locate your correct BMI and gender from the chart provided to find your Energetic Step Value (ESV).
3. Divide your steps per day by your ESV (steps added divided by ESV = X). Your total kcal expenditure is also your NEAT point total.
Just like we did yesterday, incorporate these activities into your NEAT System and start tracking the NEAT points that you earn from them. Tomorrow, we will incorporate two more S’s – stairs and samba (dance).