Even if you do get off your bum a few times a week to get to the gym, the studies are starting to show that this might not be enough for some. Most of us now work in an office chair, drive our commute and slump in front of the telly at home. Even with our deliberate attempts to improve our exercise levels, we’re still falling short of what’s needed.
Even worse, sitting for too long is now considered another of the many things that may cause diabetes.
So what should we do? Fidget. By incorporating more of these smaller exercises into our days we can increase our overall activity level outside of the dedicated forms of “Exercise”. Cutely, the academics call this Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT.
Six ways to get more NEAT and be more active
- Wear a pedometer – or a FuelBand, or an UP; something that can help you monitor your NEAT. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. There’s no need to start with a too-ambitious goal. Can you get your step-count (or Fuel, or whatever) to be a hundred or so more than last week?
- Take the stairs – you probably wait longer for the lift than it would take to walk a couple of flights of stairs.
- Active transportation – can you walk, cycle, bus or train it? If not, have you considered parking at the far end of the car park?
- Drink plenty of water – It’s good for slimmers anyway, but it also encourages you to get up – if only to refill your glass and to visit the loo!
- Forget the phone, have walking meetings – If you need to chat with someone in the office, walk over there. If it’s a longer chat, why not invite them to go for a walk? It always looks impressive on the West Wing…
- Walk during your lunch break – I do this regularly. Not only does it improve my mood and give me a proper break away from my desk, but it encourages me to find new lunch venues, too!
- Summer Tomato: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – It’s NEAT!
- Everyday Health:Too much sitting could court diabetes, study finds
- Wall Street Journal:Do the Fitness Math: Gym vs. Stairs