We’re reading Move a Little, Lose a Lot by James A. Levine, M.D, an intriguing exploration of the implications of sitting a significant portion of one’s day. Levine maintains that simply by standing, pacing, or bending, one can improve health and memory, and ultimately reach one’s ideal body weight.
The principle behind Levine’s theory is called “NEAT,” an acronym for “nonexercise activity thermogenesis,” a component of a person’s calorie burning metabolism.
That sounds much more complicated than it actually is and, thankfully, one doesn’t need an advanced degree in Medical Anything to sort through its meaning. NEAT is essentially the calories one burns to live one’s life; the sum of the movements that one makes throughout any given day.
The book is filled with information that’s both surprising and thought-provoking. For example, 50 years ago there were no gyms, people didn’t schedule exercise, and yet a small percentage of the population was overweight. In addition, the average person’s diet contains less calories than were consumed back then. So what accounts for the difference? Lifestyle, the amount of time spent not sitting or reclining. Moving about one’s environment can amount to more calories lost than what’s expended running on a treadmill for 20 minutes, a fact that this treadmill dreading reader found encouraging!
Sound interesting? We think so, too. We recommend the book and, consistent with its advice, we suggest that you should stand while reading this entry, talking on the phone, or performing any other task in your office that allows it. We sell a wide variety of desk and task chairs but we support any theory that encourages a healthier you when not sitting in one!
Are you standing?