Auckland Bioengineering Institute


The NEAT seat

bioinst-neat-seat
CAD design of prototype NEAT platform.

We are in the midst of global obesity pandemic that is largely due to an imbalance between energy intake (food) and energy expenditure (activity) with inactivity as the major cause of this imbalance. Since most members of society have an aversion to exercise, more subtle and indirect measures to enhance energy consumption need to be developed. One approach is to elevate the consumption of energy through a process known as non-exercise energy expenditure (NEAT).

The Liggins Institute and the ABI are developing a device that will exploit and increase NEAT thereby helping to redress the energy imbalance and treat and prevent obesity. Our device is capable of tailoring movement in response to measured lower limb force magnitude and orientation, thus providing a versatile test platform for testing and modifying movement stimuli that encourage energy expenditure.

We are now extending the capabilities of this device to include wireless inertial measurements of limb motion.

The next phase of the project involves developing methods for monitoring and encouraging NEAT using this device. If you are interested in working on this project, please see the research opportunities section of our website.

Project members


Funding partner


  • The University of Auckland Medical Research Foundation