A new way to burn calories by putting computers on top of treadmills and exercise bikes is being considered for offices. These are called NEAT offices - NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or the scientific term for burning calories while engaging in spontaneous physical activities.
James Levine, a Mayo Clinic physician who created this idea, walks on his office treadmill at a pace of 1 mile per hour while he answers emails, writes grants and talks on the phone. Though not overweight to begin with, Levine has lost 15 pounds.
Burning Calories at your computer â€" thatâ€™s NEAT
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Dr. Diet weighs in:
This same researcher once did a study that showed that people who fidget by squirming while seated or tapping their toes or fingers weigh less and are naturally thinner than people who donâ€™t fidget.
Levine has also determined that obese people typically spend 2.5 more hours sitting per day than lean people.
When overweight individuals say that they just canâ€™t lose weight because they have low metabolism, Levine has found that what they really have is low NEAT which means that they biologically need to sit more.
The solution is to create more NEAT-seeking behaviors â€"which is the purpose of designing NEAT offices.
I talk to patients all the time about becoming more active at work by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking their car farther away but I never really thought about walking on a treadmill while working at your computer as a viable option.
Sometimes we need to think outside of the box to come up with creative ways to build a healthier lifestyle into our daily routines.
I donâ€™t know about you but I think this is a really neat idea.