Walking Burns More Calories Than Researchers Originally Believed


People who walk for exercise are burning a lot more calories than current calculations show, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Researchers at Southern Methodist University examined common equations over the past 40 years and discovered that samples sizes from the past were too small and only included men. In addition, data didn’t take into consideration the different sizes of participants.

Women’s Health magazine points out, “They found that their calorie estimates were too low in a whopping 97 percent of cases.”

As a result, researchers developed a new equation that is two to three times more accurate to determine the number of calories adults actually burn when walking.

Study co-author Peter Weyand, Ph.D., a biomechanics professor and director of the Locomotor Performance Laboratory at Southern Methodist University, explained, “For an average height woman of 130 pounds walking at a typical speed of 2.9 miles per hour, the total energy expended to walk one mile would be 81 kilocalories*.¬†For a faster walk of four miles per hour or so, the number of kcals burned increases to about 95 per mile.”

The old equation indicated an individual would burn just 68 calories per mile at 2.9 miles per hour.

Weyand added, “For overall health, walking is a greatly beneficial exercise because almost anyone can do it and it provides the most critical cardiovascular and musculoskeletal benefits that can be derived from exercise.”

*A kilocalorie is the precise scientific term for calorie.

We wonder how many calories this woman burns every day:

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