Moving more, walking more, and being more active overall are mantras our physical therapists live by here at Made 2 MOVE. A big reason MOVE is in the name of our business! As PTs and most of our patients know, to optimize health and/or reach fitness goals, there are important lifestyle factors that must be capitalized on- movement being a major one. And we’re not just talking about the time spent in the gym.
Most people are aware that a healthy diet and exercise are important. You’re checking the boxes by exercising for 1-2 hours, sleeping 8 hours per night, and eating relatively healthy. But that leaves 15 other hours unaccounted for throughout your day. How are you spending those 15 hours? Unfortunately, modern lifestyles, consisting of desk jobs, long commutes, and TV can make those 15 hours very sedentary.
Enter NEAT! A factor often brushed aside for health is NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT has the power to counteract the sedentary nature of the modern world. NEAT, defined by NASM is “the energy expended for everything we do that does not include sleeping, eating, or exercise; and ranges from simple things like standing and fidgeting to moving about.” Below we will discuss what NEAT is and some easy ways to adopt it into your lifestyle.
What is NEAT?
NEAT is one of the variables that contributes to our TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. Why is TDEE important? TDEE simply = the amount of calories you burn in a day. (Yes, you burn calories outside of your gym session!) 4 major factors contribute to this daily calorie burn, making for a more complicated equation that we will break down below. The following equation gives the breakdown of TDEE:
TDEE = BMR + TEF + EAT + NEAT
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate): This is the amount of calories burned just to keep you alive. Think: circulation, breathing, etc.This does not include calories burned during exercise and varies based upon factors such as muscle mass and genetics. BMR makes up the biggest component of your TDEE at around 60-70%.