Walking Calorie Calculator
Calorie Burn & Walking
This calculator predicts the calories burned by walking various distances at a variety of speeds for walkers of different weights.
Walking for exercise is very common. In addition to race walkers, hikers, and those using walking to lose weight, walking is used by many runners as an alternative or supplement to running. Its low-impact nature means it's particularly suitable when carrying an injury or a niggle, or just when a break is needed from running. It's also really useful for warming up, cooling down, and as an alternative to standing around while recovering between reps.
Those who walk a lot for work or other reasons may wish to take the energy expenditure into account when planning diet or meals and increase their intake of calories accordingly.
Despite being a low-level aerobic activity, walking is an excellent way to lose weight. Its low-impact nature and the fact that no special skills or equipment are needed make it an ideal exercise for those wishing to burn extra calories.
If walking forms part of a weight-loss plan, then it's really useful to be able to estimate calorie burn so that adjustments to diet can be made, and a calorie deficit achieved. This is important not only so that you can ensure walking volume is high enough, but also so that any increases of decreases in food intake are appropriate.
As with all forms of exercise used to help weight loss, the best plan of action is to proceed slowly to ensure that health is maintained. Rapid weight loss can also have adverse effects on energy levels, muscle volume, strength, and performance.
If you're trying to gain weight then it's important that any extra activity is accounted for so that extra calories can be taken in to compensate. People often don't take walking into account when considering overall exercise volume, but if you're doing significant amounts then it's really important to consider its impact.
Those who are happy with their weight may find it useful to work out how many calories they are burning by walking each day so that they can adjust their diet accordingly.
Since walking is a relatively gentle activity people tend not to see it necessary to prefuel before or refuel after a walk. However, for long walks it can be useful to do so. Walking has the benefit that it's easy to eat while on the go, or to stop for a short break and have a snack. Understanding the energy requirements of walking enables the walker to prepare for the activity in advance.
Walking Calorie Burn Calculation
The predictions made by this calculator are based on METs, Metabolic Equivalent of Task. METs are a common method of determining how much energy is expended by performing various activities. The activity type, the person's weight, and the activity's duration are all used to determine energy use. A single MET is roughly the amount of energy used by sitting down and relaxing. This baseline is used to work out the METs for other activities. As an example, walking at 3 mph requires roughly 3.5 times as much energy than sitting down. Thus, walking at 3 mph is equivalent to 3.5 METs
METs and Calories (kcals)
Conversion from METs to Calories (kcals) is achieved as follows:
Calories/kcals = activity (METs) x weight (kilograms) x duration (hours)
The number of Calories/kcals used for a 3.5 MET activity performed for 2 hours by a person weighing 80 kilograms is:
3.5 x 2 x 80 = 560 calories
We make use of the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities Reference List for Walking in order to calculate METs used for walking at different speeds.
Where METs are not available for a certain speed, we use linear interpolation to derive an appropriate MET value.
It's assumed that the walking is done on the flat. However walking uphill or downhill or up and down stairs for some of the activity shouldn't have a massive impact on the overall number of calories burned.