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    Behaving like a lean person can increase calories burned by 350 calories per day

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Thursday, August 05, 2010 8:13 am Email this article
    "If obese individuals adopted the NEAT-enhanced behaviors of their lean counterparts, they might expend an additional 350 calories per day," concludes a study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. NEAT is the amount of energy burned from posture and small movements during the day

    NEAT stands for nonexercise activity thermogenesis. NEAT is changes in posture and movements that are associated with the routines of daily life.

    10 lean people compared with 10 obese people for 10 days

    For ten days, the study compared the body posture and movements of 10 lean people (5 males and 5 females) with an average body mass index (BMI) of 23, and 10 obese people (5 males and 5 females) with an average BMI of 33.

    Obese people sat 2 hours and 44 minutes more per day than lean people

    Obese people sat two hours and forty-four minutes per day more than lean people did.

    Obese people and lean people slept the same amount

    The amount of time spent sleeping, that is, lying down, were almost identical between lean and obese people.

    Obese people would have burned an extra 352 calories per day

    Had the obese people had the same posture and movements of the lean people, they would have burned an estimated additional 352 calories per day.

    An extra 352 calories per day is 35 lbs per year

    This is the equivalent of about 35 pounds per year.

    Neither obese nor lean people changed posture or moved more or less after losing or gaining weight

    In a second part of the study, they had 10 lean people overeat for two months during which they gained an average of 8.8 pounds.

    They also had 7 of the obese people undergo supervised weight loss for two months during which they lost an average of 17.6 pounds.

    Even after gaining weight, lean people did not spend any more time sitting nor moving any less.

    An obese people, after losing weight, did not sit any less nor move any more.

    Posture and movement is biologically determined

    “Thus, it appears that… differences in posture… are biologically determined,” the authors concluded.

    In other words, obesity does not cause a person to sit more and move less, but rather, sitting more and moving less increases the risk of obesity.

    This study was performed by the same research group who reported in 1999 and 2000 that fidgeting substantially increased calories burned and reduced weight gain when people were overfed.


    Levine J, Lanningham-Foster LM, Mccrady SK, Krizan AC, Olson LR, Kane P, Jensen M, Clark MM. Interindividual variation in posture allocation: possible role in human obesity. Science. 2005 Jan 28, 307(5709):584-86.


    Jim Levine
    Endocrine Research Unit
    Mayo Clinic
    Rochester, MN 55905, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


    On Apr 06, 2005 at 7:43 am Randy Smith, MD wrote:

    . . . . .

    All the elaborate theories aside, overweight and obesity are clearly in part a cycle of weight gain leading to decreased activity leading to more weight gain.

    Randy Smith, MD


    On Apr 12, 2005 at 8:25 am wendy wrote:

    . . . . .

    What was elaborate? It was a real study that showed something new and real. You dismiss it with a wave of your hand and then say some unproven pearl of wisdom as a counter.

    On Apr 10, 2006 at 5:49 am Ingrid wrote:

    . . . . .

    Children are encouraged to fidget less instead of more. We need to have more active play in schools and at home. We need to have children encouraged to move rather than sit. Maybe ADHD should be encouraged a bit more -- or am I getting off the topic?

    On Apr 10, 2006 at 5:59 am Larry Hobbs wrote:

    . . . . .


    I agree.

    Let them fidget.

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