What is NEAT and How Can it Improve Senior Health?


NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. It’s a fancy way of referring to the physical activities people do throughout the day that burn calories but aren’t typically thought of as exercise. Anything that requires movement counts as NEAT, like vacuuming the house, walking from one room to another, and even fidgeting. It does not count activities like eating or sleeping. Although those movements may not seem like a big deal, they have a larger impact on your aging relative’s metabolism and health than you may think.

Elderly Care Westfield NJ - What is NEAT and How Can it Improve Senior Health?

Elderly Care Westfield NJ – What is NEAT and How Can it Improve Senior Health?

Dangers of Less NEAT

The average person spends about 10 hours per day sitting. Spending a lot of time inactive can, not surprisingly, lead to gaining weight. Research shows that people who spend a lot of time sitting are at a higher risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. These conditions have been associated with sitting a lot even if a person does exercise.

One disturbing piece of information that scientists have discovered is that it takes just one day of inactivity for damage in the body to start. The process that breaks down fats in the blood begins to work more slowly and good cholesterol levels go down.

Researchers say that people move less in today’s world than they did in the past in part because of the rise in technology. People spend more time sitting in front of computers, televisions, and devices than they did in the past, which has led to an increase in obesity. In fact, according to one study, scientists found that people who are sedentary and obese tend to spend 2.5 more hours per day sitting than people who are thinner do.

Ways Elderly Care Can Incorporate NEAT in a Senior’s Day

Experts say it doesn’t take much to add more NEAT to a person’s day and make a difference in their health. Increasing standing and walking by just 2.5 hours daily is all it takes. Fortunately, elderly care providers can help your aging relative to increase physical activity throughout the day. Some of the ways an elderly care provider can help are:

  • Taking the older adult for a walk after meals, which can help to lower blood sugar levels.
  • Involving them in household activities, like cooking or baking and completing household tasks, like folding a load of laundry while standing in the laundry room or dusting the living room.
  • Getting them up during commercial breaks in a television show to walk around the house or march in place.

These are just a few things elderly care providers can do to help improve the amount of time older adults spend being active. Having an elderly care provider to do things with can make being active feel less like work and make it more enjoyable.

Sources:  https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2019/non-exercise-activity-thermogenesis.html?intcmp=AE-HP-TTN-R3-POS3-REALPOSS-TODAY

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Elderly Care  Services in Westfield NJ, please talk to the caring staff at Generations Home Health Care today. Providing Home Care in Somerset, Essex, Union, Morris and Hunterdon Counties. Call us today at (908) 290-0691 or (973) 241-4534.