Energy expended when walking 10,000 steps at different speeds

Authors: Macpherson, Colin1; Purcell, Clíona2; Bulley, Catherine2

Source: Advances in Physiotherapy, Volume 11, Number 4, November 2009 , pp. 179-185(7)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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This study aimed to investigate whether individuals who walk 10,000 steps at faster and slower speeds meet recommendations to expend 150 kilocalories (kcals) and spend 30 minutes in moderate intensity physical activity. Thirty volunteers (12 men, 18 women; mean age 23.6±4.8 years) participated in an experimental, same-subject design. Individuals walked 1000 steps on a treadmill, at 3.2 kilometres per hour (km/h), and again at 6.4 km/h. A Tritrac-R3D accelerometer and stop-clock were used to estimate physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE: kcals) and time (min) for 1000 steps; both were multiplied by 10 to estimate the likely values for 10,000 steps. All participants achieved 150 kcals at 3.2 km/h (median 235 kcals, range 148–401) and at 6.4 km/h (median 388 kcals, range 294–901). The median PAEE difference of 153 kcals differed significantly between walking speeds (Z= − 4.782, p=0.000). The mean time (±SD) to walk 10,000 steps slowly was 107±0.6 min, and quickly was 77±0.4 min. This study suggests that walking 10,000 steps at a slow speed may achieve 150 kcals of energy expenditure. While more than 30 min is spent on this task, the intensity is less likely to reach recommended levels. Promotion of graded increases in walking speed may be beneficial.

Keywords: cardiovascular; epidemiology; exercise – cardiovascular; rehabilitation; training – aerobic

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: 1Active Health Services, New Zealand 2: 2School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, UK

Publication date: November 1, 2009

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