By Marilyn, on July 5th, 2011
Did you know that simple movement is one way to lose weight? We get so focused on thinking that only structured exercise is the only way to exercise. Just generalized activity can also help us lose weight. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)* is simply spontaneous activity. In one study(1) in which 20 self proclaimed couch potatoes were studied ( 10 with the BMI(body mass index) with an average of 23 (lean) and 10 with an average BMI of 33 (mildly obese)) to determine how different levels of activity affected their weight. It was found:
- The obese group sat for 164 minutes longer each day than the lean group.
- The lean people were upright for 153 minutes longer than the obese people.
- The lean group burned an average of 350 extra calories each day (36 lbs. a year) by walking and standing more throughout the day.
Neither group did any structured exercise, but the lean group burned more calories just by moving around more – no sweating required.
With more of us having sedentary jobs, we need to remember that we can easily add a little weight loss and a feeling of well-being by getting up and moving as much as possible. We need to remember—take the stairs, park further away from our destination, walk around more, stand up more often, add a few stretching exercises at our desks or while watching TV to help us just move around more. Remember that this can make a difference.
*James A. Levine, ©2010 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.