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Try NEAT Exercises To Burn Your Calories Faster

8 min read
Last Updated on 15 December, 2022

Staying fit and healthy is a wellness trend that has caught up with almost everyone. While this trend tempts us, following it requires utmost dedication and proper knowledge. One of the factors that involve being fit is weight management.

The most practiced strategy to manage weight is following an effective workout routine and eating the right amount of food. But what if we say there is a smarter way to achieve your desired weight? The trick here is to incorporate NEAT exercises into your lifestyle regime.

The word “Neat,” in general, relates to cleanliness. So, when it comes to "NEAT exercise," what does it imply? Does it mean you have to maintain cleanliness as you exercise? The answer is No. NEAT is an aspect that is often overlooked but plays a vital role in weight loss.

Fascinated? If so, we are here to give an insight into what NEAT is, activities related to NEAT, its benefits, and easy ways of increasing your NEAT.

What is NEAT exercise?


NEAT is an acronym. It stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. NEAT is achieved by performing any daily activity, such as walking your dog or walking to the market.

If you are curious about the term "Thermogenesis," here is its explanation. Thermogenesis is a metabolic activity that occurs in every living organism. During this process, the body burns calories to generate energy or heat.

To define NEAT exercise in layman’s terms - It is any daily physical activity that burns calories. However, it excludes activities like sleeping, eating, and formal exercise. For instance, when you perform everyday activities like making your bed or playing with your pet, you burn calories. This is considered NEAT.

Have you ever thought about how some people don't gain much weight or tend to maintain weight despite eating more than usual? This is a question that many of us ask ourselves. In this case, the NEAT mechanism has a role to play.

The question that arises here is, what are all the activities that come under the category of NEAT?

What are some examples of NEAT exercises?


As mentioned above, NEAT exercises include any spontaneous body movements that occur throughout the day. Below is a list of NEAT activities that are worth mentioning:

  • Changing your posture while sitting or lying down
  • Going on foot to take the bus or train
  • Cleaning your room or doing any household chores
  • Taping or moving your feet while sitting
  • Stretching your body
  • Working at a standing desk
  • Climbing the stairs
  • Fidgeting
  • Gardening
  • Washing your vehicle
  • Singing
  • Typing

As you can see, Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT encompasses even the tiniest of actions a person does in a day. But what is so special about NEAT?

The Importance of NEAT

Research about how NEAT affects an individual shows that it can be counted as an additional way of maintaining a good metabolism. And good metabolism is directly related to healthy weight management.

A study suggests that NEAT plays a fundamental role among people who tend to stay slim no matter how much they eat. Another resource emphasizes that the regulation of NEAT is believed to be directly linked to any change in the body's energy balance. Although NEAT contributes minimally towards weight management, its significance cannot be ignored.

Wondering what the energy balance in the body is? Energy balance is maintained when the body equally utilizes the calories consumed in the form of food and drinks. A regulated energy balance also leads to a well-maintained body weight.

The health of employees who spend most of their working hours at a desk is seen to degrade in the long run. Along with this, productivity at work also degrades. For such individuals, NEAT exercise is of utmost importance.

What are the benefits of NEAT exercise?

So far, it is quite clear NEAT exercise acts like a catalyst that allows you to burn more calories. This further aids in weight loss. Apart from this, an increase in NEAT activities leads to the following benefits:

  • Reduced chances of developing any chronic disorder
  • Improved heart health
  • Increased life span
  • Boosts mental health
  • Increased metabolism

What factors regulate NEAT?

Studies related to Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT are still going on and require more in-depth research. The occurrence of NEAT varies from person to person. There is still less concrete evidence as to why there is a variance regarding NEAT. However, the existing studies conclude two factors are seen to affect NEAT in a person - environmental and biological.

Environmental factors: Occupational constraints, sedentary lifestyle, and seasonal temperature significantly impact one's NEAT.

Biological factors: Gender, weight, biological composition, and genetics.

Body systems involved in NEAT

Your body’s neuroendocrine system works hand in hand with the different organs and tissues to regulate the NEAT mechanism. Internal sensors that are involved in NEAT are the gastrointestinal tract, adipose tissue, pancreas, endocrine glands, liver, skeletal muscles, and neural signals. External stimuli involved are touch, smell, body position, vision, and hearing, which are also included in NEAT regulation.

How to increase your NEAT to burn more calories?

Since NEAT contributes 15 percent to the total daily energy expenditure, it is a smart choice to practice such activities more consciously. Here are some simple ways to increase your NEAT:

1. Set alarms to move between work


Set hourly alarms that cover the entire duration you remain active. Label your alarm so you can remember to stretch and walk around for a few minutes at least. This method is much needed for those who have a sitting job.

To make this more fun, you can try lifestyle tracking apps. Such apps offer features that allow their users to adopt new habits. For instance, you can get reminders to drink water every hour. Just like this, you can set reminders to move your body and walk a bit, which will help with your NEAT.

2. Maintain a journal


How often do we truly keep track of our activities throughout the day? The answer will be mostly no. Keep entries of every tiny to major activity that you do. This will include the type of activity, the time at which you carried out the activity, and its duration. In turn, you will get a preview of your actions and how much time you spend being active. As a result, you can move about consciously to increase your NEAT.

3. Fidget around more

Growing up, most of us have learned to avoid the action of fidgeting while sitting. It has been linked to restlessness. This is not the case anymore. The more you fidget, the more calories you will burn.

Set a reminder task into your phone to fidget if required. Twist your ankles, shake your legs as you work, and increase your NEAT.

It is worth noting that you should fidget around as per the situation. Many still perceive fidgeting as a negative behavior. Fidgeting while sitting in the presence of your senior management at work is a big NO. Practice NEAT, but not at the cost of your reputation at work.

4. Make your house chores fun

Just the thought of doing household chores makes us lazy. How to push yourself to make this activity fun? Create a music playlist that makes you groove.

Play this list as you start the chores, and see the change in your energy. With it, your NEAT will increase too.

5. Walk to buy groceries


With the outbreak of COVID, the demand for online grocery shopping rose among consumers. Although this service is convenient and time-saving, going out to buy groceries is a great way to meet your calorie-burning goals. Avoid taking your vehicle to the grocery store and, instead, go on foot.

6. Make the most of your Netflix time

Returning home and refreshing your mind with some Netflix content - is how many relax after a tiring day at work. As you settle down to get entertained, stretch your body now and then to increase your NEAT.

7. Take up a new hobby


The fast-paced life we lead barely allows us to take some time for ourselves, let alone hone a new hobby. But since engaging oneself with a hobby contributes towards NEAT, its value cannot be ignored.

Here are some interesting hobbies you can develop - learning a new instrument, singing, cooking, baking, or learning any sport. In addition to increasing your NEAT, having a hobby helps you to start a meaningful conversation with new people.

If you are wondering what total daily energy expenditure is and how it affects your body, here is its summary.

Total Daily Energy Expenditure

Acronymized as TDEE, this is the total calorie count your body uses to carry out all metabolic activities smoothly. This estimate also helps calculate how many calories you require for fat loss or weight gain.

Just like NEAT, there are three more components that add up to your total daily energy expenditure. They are -

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT), and Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Let’s look at what these terms mean.

Basal Metabolic Rate:

BMR estimates the number of calories burnt while at complete rest. It comprises 70 percent of total daily energy expenditure.

Exercise Activity Thermogenesis:

EAT involves the number of calories burnt while performing any standard physical exercise. The energy you burn during exercise is further utilized to regulate your bodily functions. It comprises 5 percent of total daily energy expenditure.

Thermic Effect of Food:

TEF is the number of calories burnt during the process of food digestion. The amount of calories consumed during digestion depends upon the food. It comprises 10 percent of total daily energy expenditure.

Wrapping up

Since COVID, we have been hit with a reality check that health awareness is a must. Life is truly temporary, but only we can increase its longevity. One of the prominent reasons for poor health is the intake of excess calories.

Research shows that, on average, NEAT allows a person to burn 2000 kcal per day. This varies from person to person based on their activity level and external factors. With the mindful practice of NEAT exercises, you can easily burn this amount of calories daily.

At the same time, manage your caloric intake to maintain good metabolism. As covered above, NEAT is an integral part of the metabolic process. Practice any NEAT exercise to boost your metabolism. And with that, you can successfully lead a healthier lifestyle.

This article is written by Supriya Singh who is a content marketer at Vantage Circle. Writing is how she keeps her creative side ignited. An avid dog lover. Loves to cook and binge watch TV shows. To get in touch, reach out to

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