Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:22 am
Location: in the Vortex
If you're looking to drop a pants size or two, simply adding some organized exercise at the end of the day may not be enough, especially if you have a desk job. Do you know what your NEAT rating is?
Excerpted from "Green Barbarians; Live Bravely on Your Home Planet," by Ellen Sanbeck: A study published in 2007 by scientists at the University of Missouri, Columbia, demonstrated that going to the gym for an hour every day is not likely to make people healthy if they are inactive during the rest of their waking hours.
Marc Hamilton, an associate professor of biomedical sciences, led the team that studied the impact of inactivity on rats, pigs, and humans. They found evidence that all the research subjects, no matter how furry they were or how many feet they had, were adversely affected by long periods of sitting, and exercising for an hour a day was not enough to reverse the effect. According to Hamilton: "The enzymes in blood vessels of muscles responsible for "fat burning" are shut off within hours of not standing. Standing and moving lightly will re-engage the enzymes, but since people are awake 16 hours a day, it stands to reason that when people sit much of that time they are losing the opportunity for optimal metabolism throughout the day."
Apparently, standing used twice as much energy as sitting. The scientists recommend that people stand up as much as possible during the day because, according to Hamilton: "There is a large amount of energy associated with standing every day that can't be easily compensated for by thirty to sixty minutes at the gym."
And researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found that people's "nonexercise activity thermogenesis," or NEAT, determines who is lean and who is obese. These researchers found that obese people, on average, sit 150 minutes longer each day than their slender counterparts. This extra sitting conserves an extra 350 calories per day, which can then be conveniently stored as fat. According to James Levine, M.D., "A person can expend calories either by going to the gym, or through everyday activities. Our study shows that the calories that people burn in their everyday activities--their NEAT--are far, far more important in obesity than we previously imagined."
The study involved, among other things, customized, data-logging underwear that could monitor the body positions and movements of the ten obese people and then lean people who volunteered for the study. The results showed that it is metabolically more effective to put more NEAT into your life in order to be healthy than it is to pursue organized exercise. Officially sanctioned NEAT activities include standing, pacing, twitching, fidgeting, drumming on tabletops, gesticulating while talking, foot tapping, hair twiddling, and last but not least, gum chewing, which, if you chew a really big wad, burns up eleven calories per hour.
So, annoy the crap out of your coworkers at the office and be a spastic five-year-old! You may get dirty looks but you'll look good while they're complaining--Ha, ha! Another article: http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/levine_lab/about.cfm
A great book dedicated entirely to the study and applications of NEAT by the aforementioned Dr. Levine is "Move a Little, Use a Lot." http://www.amazon.com/Move-Little-Lose- ... 0307408558
Baby Herc, fidgeting
_________________Power Speed Stamina Smarts http://allthoughtsworkoutdoors.wordpress.com/