By Chris Adams

Dr. James Levine of Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University detailed the growing body of research that shows how continual movement throughout the day can have a major impact on body weight. Called NEAT – “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” – such movements are basically what people do when they’re not sleeping or exercising: sitting, standing, walking and fidgeting.

Simply put, Levine said, “Those who sit more are more prone to obesity and those who move more are less prone to obesity.” The swing between a sitting lifestyle and a standing or more-active one can be 1,000 calories a day. Or, as he put it: “An extra 1,000 calories a day is a Big Mac and a shake.”

In his talk with National Press Foundation journalists, Levine detailed the medical literature on the issue and also offered practical solutions for how people can avoid the sedentary lifestyle. That includes everything from treadmill desks to using “walking meetings” at work.