NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis
In other words, NEAT is all the movement you do throughout the day that is not structured exercise.
Walking your dog.
Pacing while taking a phone call.
Cleaning the house.
Dancing around the kitchen.
NEAT is an underutilized concept in the fitness realm. It should come as no surprise that moving your body more is beneficial, but let's look at the why.
If you workout for 1 hour a day, that only accounts for about 4% of your day. The rest of your day-to-day non-exercise movement makes up about 63% (if you sleep an average 8 hours).
That's a 63% opportunity to get some more movement in your life.
It's no wonder why your NEAT actually accounts for more caloric expenditure (calorie burning) than your exercise.
You don't have to plan your NEAT, that's the great thing about it! You don't need to purposely set aside an hour to take a walk every day, although I do like to carve out time for a walk. . .
Take some breaks during the work day and walk around the house or yard; park further away at the grocery store; take the long route to the copy machine at work, etc. These small choices can really add up.
If you have an active job where you're on your feet all day, your NEAT is already going to be pretty high. But for most people with desk jobs, especially when working from home, it can be easy to go the entire day with very little movement.
The bulk of my NEAT is walking my dog, Scooby; tidying around the house in the am/pm; and getting out for a 20-30 minute walk when I can.
What's your favorite form of NEAT to get some extra movement into your day?