Introducing: neat | Nutrition | Houston Community College


Dr. Jame Levine is one of the country’s top experts in studying the physiology of weight gain and loss.  He indicates that  Americans suffer from the “sitting disease.”  According to Dr. Levine, we spend ten to fifteen (10-15) hours every day sitting: in our car, at our desk, in the classrooms, in front of the television, etc., burning few calories while sitting.  Besides this fact, our main type of diet is a Western diet that is heavy in energy-dense foods and heavy in calories.  No wonder why obesity is increasing in U.S.A.: we sit too long and we eat too many calories every day!  Please watch this video (0:39 secs) where Dr. Levine explains in 30 seconds about”sitting”:Link (Links to an external site.) 

Dr. Levine’s advise is to increase daily our NonExercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is the energy (calories) burned daily from just doing our daily, normal living activities, for example, yard work, washing dishes, walking the dog, etc, except  sleeping, eating, or planned exercises (jogging, zumba classes, etc.)  Research has shown that daily NEAT activities burn 1,500-2,000 calories per day! With standing and moving, you can boost your metabolism, burn calories, lower your blood pressure, and increase your mental clarity. Please watch Dr. Levine again in the following video (3:06 min): (Links to an external site.)

 In this last video, you have been introduced to the Treadmill Desk: a desk designed to allow the user to walk at low speed on a treadmill while simultaneously using a computer, taking notes, or doing other tasks. This increases the daily NEAT!  

Please comment on the following: 

Should work companies have treadmill desks for their employees instead of the common work desks to help them increase NEAT? 

Should HCC have treadmill desks in the classrooms so that students and teachers that choose to use them can take notes, type in their computers, lecture,  etc. while slowly walking (NOT running) on the treadmill desks to increase their daily NEAT?  

Besides a Treadmill Desk, what else can we do at work or school to increase our daily NEAT? 

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