Posted by: molander | November 8, 2009


Do you know about N.E.A.T? You can actually knock out some calories while you read a book, watch TV, or work on your computer. Really! I’m doing it as I type this post!

N.E.A.T stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis which basically means burning calories during basic everyday activities that don’t involve eating, sleeping, involuntary bodily functions or workouts/exercise. Hmmm…. this has possibilities.

Let’s say you’re absolutely sure you’re caloric content is on target. Let’s say you’re working out as you should but simply can’t find any possible way to add in more calorie burn time. Enter Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic and his most clever and practical use of NEAT. He explains it here on Good Morning America:

A quick search on the web reveals these workstations cost around $4,000 so I’m guessing it’s not likely your boss is willing to fork over a fortune to convert your office so how can you implement this great idea? For a no cost solution, tilt your monitor, stand up and walk in place. I used to do this all the time. You’re going for any small movement instead of sitting around like a bump on a log. It really is easy just as they said in that video clip. Take this idea home and walk in place while reading a book, surfing the net, watching TV, whatever you would normally do in slug-mode.

Recently, we purchased a treadmill and Dr. Levine kept popping into my mind since I spend a lot of time on the computer. “How can I make one of those work stations?” Well, here’s my low cost solution:

treadmill desk 1

Treadmill Desk: $5-$10 shelf proper width for hand grips

Treadmill desk 2

Dollar store silicone hot pads keep it secure.

1) I didn’t happen to have any extra wood lying around that was the proper size so I made a quick trip to the home improvement store and bought an inexpensive shelf that was just the right size.

2) I needed to protect my hand grips AND keep the shelf securely in place. The solution was silicone hot pads I already had. I thought about gluing them to the shelf but decided against it since we’re hosting Thanksgiving here. I’m gonna need those things! Besides, it works like a charm as it is.

3) Hot drink is not necessary but if you feel it is (as I do), no hot chocolate or double creamy lattes! You’re not burning that many calories! Black coffee and unsweetened green tea are excellent choices. 🙂

I have to say I love working on the treadmill! I vary the incline to burn a little extra and use muscles a little differently. As long as I keep the speed down it’s perfectly comfortable.

Just to make something perfectly clear: This, in no way, is meant to replace your solid, cardio workouts! Instead, it’s meant to replace your sedentary lifestyle! Zapping roughly 100 calories an hour without adding another thing to your to-do list…well, that’s just perfect for lazy…uh… efficient people like me!



  1. Sorry for strange formatting. I recently changed to a fixed-width template and now I have to tweak a few posts!

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