How to convert pedometer steps to calories

Written by ryan long
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How to convert pedometer steps to calories
Humans were built to walk, but how many calories does walking really burn? (a walk to remember image by elyChy from

Pedometers will tell you how many steps you have taken during the day, but most of them will not tell you how many calories all that walking has actually burnt. The only way to figure that out is to take a few measurements and then combine those into a composite that gives you a rough estimate of how many calories your body has burnt. To get started you have to know or be able to find out a few key factors: your weight, the number of steps you've taken and how fast you walk on average.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pedometer
  • Scale
  • One mile track (or loop)
  • Timer (or watch)

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  1. 1

    Get on the bathroom scale. Record the weight that you see. Try to use a second scale so that you can make sure that the readings are similar and will produce a more accurate calorie count later on.

  2. 2

    Zero out your pedometer. Zero your stop watch. Activate both your stop watch and pedometer. Walk on a track or on a flat route near your home for one mile. Record how long it took to walk that one mile, and how many steps you took.

  3. 3

    From the time it took to walk that one mile, calculate how fast you were walking in miles per hour. Do this by dividing 60 by the time it took you to walk one mile. If, for instance, you walked one mile in 20 minutes you walked a 3-mph pace.

  4. 4

    Calculate how many calories you burnt per mile by either estimation or using calorie calculators found online. For instance, if you weigh 90.7kg., walked 2,000 steps to complete your 1-mile walk and did so at a 3-mph-pace ,then you would burn 106 calories per step. Divide 106 calories by 2,000 steps and you get 0.053 calories per step. Based on this starting point, a slightly lighter person would burn fewer calories while a heavier person would burn more calories.

  5. 5

    Divide 106 calories by 2,000 steps and you get 0.053 calories per step. Read your pedometer at the end of the following day and multiply the total number of steps by 0.053, and you should get the number of calories you burnt walking.

  6. 6

    Re-evaluate your numbers, weight, pace and number of steps to walk a mile consistently in order to get a better grasp on how many calories you burn per step and how many calories you burn overall every day.

Tips and warnings

  • Body chemistry is not an exact science, and all calorie calculations are estimates based on given information.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and prevention recommends walking for a minimum of 150 minutes every week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise like jogging to maintain physical strength and overall health.

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