NEAT Behavior: The More You Move, the Healthier You Are

Simon Anthony Walker, Mar 30, 2023
Illustrations: Adam Gale

Every step you take helps you feel physically and mentally fitter. That’s why you should deploy video tech that lets you get up and move while staying 100% focused on your meeting.

When it comes to striking the right balance for effective hybrid work, the focus has primarily been on productivity. People argue that if they’re equally productive when working from home, why return to the office? In most cases, remote work is cheaper and more convenient than commuting. But what about the adverse health effects of sitting at your desk all day without moving much? Or indeed the many who commute to the office only to stay rooted to the spot there? As someone prone to lower back issues, I know how uncomfortable it can be when you feel tethered to your desk during consecutive video meetings.

A recent New York Times article referencing similar sentiments to the above paragraph mentioned something that stopped me in my tracks. An acronym term used for all the ad-hoc movements we make during the day. Guess what it is? ‘NEAT.’ No kidding!

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) refers to our daily energy expenditure from spontaneous physical activity that is not especially the result of voluntary exercise. In other words, NEAT behavior applies to our steps when walking to work or the subway, taking the stairs, strolling through the parking lot, going to lunch, etc. Even pacing around the office. And that last bit is where the magic between NEAT (spontaneous physical activity) and Neat (us) exists. Neat devices encourage you to move.

The latest research confirms that sitting smart, combined with standing and walking, can greatly impact worker wellness and productivity.
Neat devices enable you to move to whatever meeting space is available or favorable, helping you inadvertently stay more active and energized.

Humans are meant to move

Whether working from home or the office, getting up and moving around while attending to tasks or meeting with teammates in person or online is essential for maintaining physical and mental fitness. After all, our bodies have been in their current form for roughly 300,000 years. Humans are meant to move. Surely then, technology needs to adapt to us and our daily habits, not the other way around, especially now that hybrid working means spending most of our days in meetings (I’ll talk tech in a sec). Staying active increases blood flow, making us feel more energized, inspired, and, yes, you’ve guessed it, productive! Not to mention helping reduce the risks of bad health from prolonged sitting. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, sitting for eight hours a day is as harmful as smoking or obesity. At the same time, a review on Science Direct compares increased movement with a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular conditions such as hypertension and high cholesterol, chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer and mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety. Another recent study highlighted that U.S. healthcare spending grew 2.7 percent, reaching $4.3 trillion or $12,914 per person. As a share of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 18.3 percent. On top of all that, did you know problems arising from prolonged sitting and poor posture cost U.S. employers approximately $7 billion annually in lost workdays?

Public health analysis now points towards needing more movement in our lives. Not just exercise to remain healthy.

Ben Medder – movement specialist
Leading-edge capabilities like our patented Neat Symmetry allow you to move more freely while remaining fully engaged in your meetings. 

Flexibility to move and meet

Empowering you with the flexibility to get up and stretch, even move around while remaining immersed in your video meetings is something Neat has focused on for some time now with revolutionary capabilities such as Neat Symmetry. As many of you know, besides presenting everyone in your hybrid meetings equally up close for greater equity and inclusion, our industry-leading patented Neat Symmetry enables you to be mobile while staying completely engaged and within the frame, resulting in you feeling healthier, fitter and more energetic throughout the day (watch Neat Symmetry in action). 

Our devices Neat Board and Neat Frame also enable you to decide where to meet, helping you inadvertently stay active by quickly wheeling or carrying them to whatever space is available or favorable, whether that’s from your office, kitchen or dining room at home or throughout your company’s open-plan office environments and specific meeting spaces. Not only does this prompt you to enjoy more involuntary exercise, in other words, Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), but it also allows you to stay feeling continuously inspired by not being sat in the same space or room all the time. Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. Or should that be, variety is the spice of healthy, more energetic and productive hybrid meetings?

Now that’s what I call “Neat behavior!”

If you have any questions about our devices or their capabilities or functionality, please contact one of our product specialists at Better still, book a demo.

Stay healthy, folks!