posted on Jan, 29 2005 @ 06:43 PM
In a surprising study by the Mayo Clinic, researchers have come to the conclusion that the secret to fighting fat may not be in regular trips to the
gym -- it may be in fidgeting and pacing. Researchers determined that a change as small as 350 calories a day could spell the difference between trim
and chubby, and that those calories can easily be burned by people who are naturally restless without the need for jogging or lifting weights. Study
participants wore specially designed underwear-like suits that recorded their every movement 24 hours a day. The thinner participants tended to tap
their feet, wiggle in their chairs, pace, and generally fidget significantly more than their larger counterparts.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic carefully tracked the movements and calorie-intake of 10 obese and 10 thin study participants. They found that
overweight people burned 350 fewer calories a day because they sat for 150 minutes more a day than did thin people, who tended to be more fidgety
during their daily activities.
Those findings suggest that making small changes to daily activities -- by tapping your toes, wiggling or otherwise expending more restless energy --
could be critical to weight loss.
The study, led by Dr. Jim Levine of the Mayo Clinic, was designed to examine the role of NEAT -- "non-exercise activity thermogenesis," or calories
burned during the activities of daily living -- in obesity. Levine says the implications from the study are clear: get moving.
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The Mayo Clinic study provides a positive outlook for the gym-phobic. If you're fighting the battle of the bulge, an easy addition to your daily
routine may just be making an effort to move around more. Tap your feet, get up from your chair or couch periodically and walk around, or just bounce
around in your chair. It might make your jeans fit a little better.
Regular aerobic exercise is still recommended for a healthy heart and lungs, regardless of the study's findings. A healthy diet low in cholesterol
and saturated fats is also key to one's overall well-being. You can't fidget your arteries clear.