Working From Home - Sit Less, Burn More! Sounds NEAT!
Working from home is the way of the world right now with many of us confined to our own homes for hours on end, hardly raising our eyes from our screens! I for one have found that the clock goes round without noticing that I have been sitting in the same position for hours - without standing up or moving away from my laptop! My NEAT calories burned has diminished to virtually zero. NEAT calories or non-exercise activity thermogenesis (that’s a mouthful), are calories burned throughout the day from non-exercise activity such as standing up, moving around the office, going on general walks, as opposed to calories burned through traditional exercise such as a workout- known as EAT calories (exercise activity thermogenesis). These NEAT calories can equate to 20% of calories burned in a day. Personally, I had never acknowledged how much I was burning just on normal daily activities at work and always associated calories burned with ‘official’ exercise. Obviously, this lack of NEAT calories can lead to weight increase and all the negatives that can go along with that, not just physically but also the impact it can have on mental health.
With all of this in mind, it’s also really important that despite the often back to back zoom calls, I needed to get moving and get active, as well are ensuring I eat a nutritious, balanced diet.
But how do you squeeze this into the working day? Here are my tips:
- Plan it in - include it in your schedule even if that means blocking some time out in your diary.
- Make sure you get up from your home workstation regularly (at least hourly).
- Use the stairs - it’s a great way to exercise. If you can, run upstairs (carefully) - as many times as possible.
- Stand up regularly. Any excuse will do!
- Stay hydrated. Use this as an excuse to get another glass of water or a hot drink (kills two birds).
- Whilst sitting, move your legs from time to time. Extend one leg out straight. Hold for 2 seconds, lower it then do the same with the other leg and keep repeating, like a pedalling movement.
- Put your hands on each arm of your chair then lift yourself out of the chair just using your arms. Repeat this a few times.
- If you can, pop outside for a few minutes. Fresh air is a must.
- Have a daily challenge with colleagues - who can do the most steps in 30 minutes. All start the challenge at the same time and end at the same time (everyone will need a step counter of some sort - e.g.smart watch/phone app etc). Then get back together over zoom and show your results - maybe keep a leader board just for fun.
So these are a few of my simple methods of getting a bit more active whilst working from home. Pretty NEAT huh!