Energy Expenditure

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Energy Expenditure Chart

For every physical activity, the body requires energy and the amount depends on the duration and type of activity.

Energy is measured in calories and is obtained from the body stores or the food we eat.

This page looks at the energy expenditure for walking and running.




Walking is the major type of physical activity. A linear relationship exists at walking speeds of 3 to 5 km/hr and oxygen uptake but at faster speeds oxygen consumption rises making walking less economical.

Body mass can predict energy expenditure with reasonable accuracy at walking speeds of 2 to 4 mph (3.2 to 6.4 km/hr).

The following table provides the amount of calories you will burn per minute for ranges of body mass (weight) and speed when you walk on a firm level surface (road, track or grass).


Speed Body Mass
Kg 36 45 54 64 73 82 91
mph km/hr Lb 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
2.0 3.22   1.9 2.2 2.6 2.9 3.2 3.5 3.8
2.5 4.02   2.3 2.7 3.1 3.5 3.8 4.2 4.5
3.0 4.83   2.7 3.1 3.6 4.0 4.4 4.8 5.3
3.5 5.63   3.1 3.6 4.2 4.6 5.0 5.4 61
4.0 6.44   3.5 4.1 4.7 5.2 5.8 6.4 7.0


If your body mass is 64 kg and you walk at a speed of 5.63 km/hr then you will burn approximately 4.6 Calories/minute =>

If you walk for one hour you will burn 60 × 4.6 = 276 Calories.




When running at identical speeds, a trained distance runner runs at a lower percentage of aerobic capacity than an untrained athlete does, even though the oxygen uptake during the run will be similar for both athletes. The demarcation between running and jogging depends on the individual's level of fitness.

Independent of fitness it becomes far more economical from an energy viewpoint to change from walking to running when your speed exceeds 8km/hr (5 mph). Above 8km/hr the oxygen intake for a walker exceeds the oxygen intake of a runner. At 10km the walker's oxygen (O2) uptake is 40 ml/kg/min compared to 35 ml/kg/min for the runner.

Body mass can predict energy expenditure with reasonable accuracy when running on a firm level surface (road, track or grass). The amount of calories required to run 1 km equals your weight in kg - a runner of 78 kg will burn 78 Calories/km. This amounts to 15.6 liters of oxygen (O2) consumed per kilometer (1 liter of O2 = 5 Calories)

The following table provides the amount of calories you will burn per minute for ranges of body mass (weight) and speed when you run on a firm level surface (road, track or grass).

Speed Body Mass (Kg)
km/hr 55 65 75 85 95
8 7.1 8.3 9.4 10.7 11.8
9 8.1 9.8 11.0 12.6 14.4
10 9.1 10.8 12.2 13.6 15.3
11 10.2 11.8 13.1 14.7 16.6
12 11.2 12.8 14.1 15.6 17.6
13 12.1 13.8 15.0 17.0 18.9
14 13.3 15.0 16.1 17.9 19.9
15 14.3 15.9 17.0 18.8 20.8
16 15.4 17.0 18.1 19.9 21.9



How Exercises Compare

The following table contains the approximate caloric expenditure in a 30 minute period of exercise for a person weighing 68kg for various exercises and intensity of work.


Exercise Intensity Calories/½ hour
Aerobics Light 120
Moderate 200
Vigorous 300
Walking 4 km/hr 105
7 km/hr 200
10 km/hr 370
Running 9 km/hr 320
10 km/hr 350
12 km/hr 430
16 km/hr 550
Cycling 9 km/hr 120
16 km/hr 220
21 km/hr 320
Swimming 25 meters/min 165
40 meters/min 240
50 meters/min 345
Rowing Light 200
Vigorous 420


Add 10% for every 7kg over 68kg and deduct 10% for every 7kg under 68kg


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