People today are less active in general and sit for most of our waking hours at desk jobs, behind the steering wheel and on couches at home so finding ways to burn more calories throughout the day should be a priority.

Moving more throughout the day can have significant health and weight-loss benefits1. Studies show that people who move more during the day can burn up to 2,000 kilocalories a day compared to less active individuals of the same weight2.

READ MORE | 6 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Metabolism

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

Burning calories (energy) with common daily activities is known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).

This could include activities such as walking to lunch, pacing while on a call, climbing stairs, standing while talking to a colleague, and even washing the car or doing the dishes.

Proactively boosting NEAT by intentionally performing additional basic daily activities during your day has a cumulative effect that can complement the weight-loss measures you are already taking to build a better physique.

READ MORE | Get Fired Up! 5 Effective Ways To Boost Your Metabolism

7 ways to ramp up NEAT

  1. Walk around the office while you are on a phone call. Or, even better, walk outside!
  2. Use the stairs instead of the escalator or lift. In doing so you can burn an extra 50 to 100 calories on average each day.
  3. Take regular breaks from your desk with 10 minute-walks in the office.
  4. Record work info or study material and listen to it while taking a walk.
  5. Tend to your garden on weekends. Pulling weeds, trimming bushes, raking leaves or cutting the grass can burn an extra 100 calories.
  6. Dance it off! Put on your favourite dance tunes while you cook or clean and get that booty moving!
  7. Laugh your way to a slimmer waistline by supporting your local stand-up comedian or catching a Netflix comedy show. According to a study7 published in the International Journal of Obesity, an 80-minute comedy show can easily burn off 100 calories.


  1. Pedro A. Villablanca, Jorge R. Alegria, et al. Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis in Obesity Management. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. April 2015. Volume 90. Issue 4, p509-519, DOI:
  2. Von Loeffelholz C, Birkenfeld AL. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis in Human Energy Homeostasis. [Updated 2022 Nov 25]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Blackman MR, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA):, Inc.; 2000-. Available from: