Increasing your NEAT

Small lifestyle changes, big results

If someone told you to increase your NEAT, you probably wouldn’t know where to start, or what it even means.

We know that life can dish out its fair share of challenges. Some weeks are harder than others and sometimes our responsibilities take over, moving healthy lifestyle choices down our list of priorities.

If only there was a way to keep on top of our activity in a way that doesn’t fixate us on over restricting or overworking but rather gently reminds us to consistently increase our output.

Although it might sound too vague for some, there is a measurement known as NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) which we can try to increase in our daily lives that will keep our lifestyle consistent with little effort.

What is NEAT?

The energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing daily tasks, and yes – even fidgeting!

Simple enough, but something we often forget about when going about our daily lives. We have rounded up 3 ways to easily increase your NEAT and make those simple healthy lifestyle choices that stick…

Get your steps in. 10,000 is a common general rule of thumb, but if it’s unachievable – start with 6,000 or whatever you feel is possible. Giving yourself an aim, every day will turn your NEAT into a fun challenge and encourage you to make that final push every day. Leaving time aside for an intentional walk each day is incredibly low impact and can contribute a big portion to our NEAT. 

Take the stairs! The most basic idea but a concept that can be applied to everything. Stairs up to the office? Take them. Live close enough to your supermarket? Walk there. Switch out coffee dates with friends and cinema visits with children for walks and adventures to an active space.

Start making these healthier decisions even if they’re small and you will start to see a very big difference in mindset and overall lifestyle.

Stand more. Yep - you read that right. Stand up more and you’re simply more likely to move more, contributing to your overall NEAT.

If your job requires a desk, set a timer to alert you to take frequent breaks. Choose the scenic route on your way to your daily coffee or consider switching to a standing desk if it fits within your budget.

There are countless benefits to standing more that we wrote about in our article here: Importance of Standing – Places Leisure