That's NEAT

Mr. Gaelic's office provides employees at a certain level or higher, and their spouses, with free extensive wellness programs including annual physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies, heart stress tests, hearing screenings, eye exams, complete blood work (amounting to over ten pages of reports), pap smears, skin cancer screening, and nutritional and physical coaches to keep you on track. As part of that, they recently emailed a video about how some people seem to be more metabolically advantaged than other people. You know the sort -- those people who can eat whatever they want and never gain an ounce.

I have to fight to keep my weight in check. Sure I'm at the gym or the ballet studio almost every day. But that's because I have the appetite of a teenage boy. Of course the opposite could be true that I have the appetite of a teenage boy because I work out so often.

Either way, I'm not sure I buy into the theory that my wellness clinic is putting forth. The latest video suggests that people who fidget have better weight management because of something called NEAT: non-exercise activity thermo-genesis. So for those of us, who pace the floor, tap our fingers, bounce our feet, and shift our weight when standing, all of that extra activity throughout the day can really add up. Some days on the treadmill it seems like an eternity to burn just 10 calories. That's like a couple of Tic-Tacs.

If I start bouncing off the walls and not sitting still, maybe I can become one of those metabolically advantaged people. Then I won't worry how many minutes I need to be on the rowing machine to make up for my Phish Food indiscretion the night before.


  1. I go to the gym endlessly so I am always hungry, especially since I cut back on my carbohydrate intake some time ago. In the future no doubt heir will be exercise pills!

  2. I've heard that before about people who fidget. I'd think you'd have to fidget ALOT to burn any significant calories - evidently i'm NOT a fidgeter :)