Measurement of the components of nonexercise activity thermogenesis

Date: 
10-01-2001

Nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) accounts for the vast majority
of nonresting metabolic rate and changes in NEAT-predicted
susceptibility to fat gain with overfeeding. Measuring physical
activity and its components in free-living humans has
been a long-standing challenge. In this study, we combine
information about lightweight sensors that capture data on
body position and motion with laboratory measures of energy
expenditure to calculate nonfidgeting NEAT. This measurement
of nonfidgeting NEAT was compared with total NEAT
measured in a room calorimeter in 11 healthy subjects. The
measurement of nonfidgeting NEAT accounted for 85 6 9% of
total NEAT measured in the room calorimeter. The intraclass
correlation coefficient for the two methods was 0.86
(95% confidence interval 0.56, 0.96; P , 0.05). This suggests
that 86% of the variance is attributable to between-subject
variance and 14% to between-method disagreement. These
instruments are applicable to free-living subjects; they are
stand-alone, are lightweight, and allow normal daily activities.
This novel technology has potential application for not
only assessing NEAT but also tracking physical activity in
free-living humans.

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Authors: 
JAMES LEVINE,EDWARD L. MELANSON,KLAAS R. WESTERTERP, AND JAMES O. HILL