Move naturally, move more

Do you know someone who never seems to sit still? They are constantly on the move and when they do sit, they might fidget, shake or bounce. Well, this is really a good thing.

Research shows that if you sit less and move more, you live longer. Even if you get a 30- to 60-minute workout every day, it doesn’t seem to make up for all the time you spend sitting. Small movements throughout your day add up and these movements are important.

Things like housework, washing dishes by hand, gardening, washing the car at home, mowing the lawn, and yes, even fidgeting are all ways to stay active. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT occurs with every activity you do, except when you sleep or exercise.

NEAT is happening while you do housework, yardwork, walk across a parking lot and even when you fidget. These regular daily activities help change the balance of energy that you need and use. The more you move, the higher your level of NEAT. This also translates to better heart health, lower blood cholesterol and better control of blood sugar.

People who live in the Blue Zones achieve higher levels of NEAT by their environments. They walk to a neighbor’s home or to the store, they garden and they do chores by hand. Their lifestyle doesn’t include much structured exercise, but they do have enough daily activity to keep NEAT at a healthy level.

The average sedentary time for American is a whopping nine to ten hours per day. A primary goal for Walk Kansas and beyond should be to move more than you sit. Those 30 minutes or more of moderate activity are essential for good health, and so are the small, regular movements you do the rest of the day. All of your steps add up.

Nancy Nelson41 Posts

Nancy Nelson is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of family and child development.


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