>

Pedometer Use - Counting Steps Guide for Fitness and Weight loss

Pedometers, also known as step-counters, count the strides and 'step' movements that you make walking, jogging, running, or during gym workouts. They are available as stand-alone devices or as apps for mobile devices and use various mechanisms to detect movements.

Traditionally people have used time and distance travelled as a measure of the amount of exercise they have performed. Similarly, people interested in losing weight or controlling their weight have used exercise times, speeds and distance travelled as a measure of the number of calories they have burnt during a session.

However, it is hard to add up all the exercise sessions you complete during the day and to get a measure of your total calorie consumption.

Pedometers offer a simple solution to these problems. The steps can be converted into calories burnt and amount of weight lost as pounds and kilograms independent of pace and distance.

This article will show you how this is done by reviewing the relationship between exercise rate and speed for walking, running and cycling and providing charts of the number ofsteps required to lose a pound or a kilogram of fat.

There are a vast array of pedometer devices available, either as stand alone devices or as smartphone applications
There are a vast array of pedometer devices available, either as stand alone devices or as smartphone applications. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ANike_FuelBand_(Intel_Free_Press).jpg
Pedometers are not new. This is an older model
Pedometers are not new. This is an older model. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APedometer.JPG

What are the Benefits of Pedometers?

A review of various pedometer research studies showed that:

► People who used increased their physical activity by for than 25%.

► Setting a daily step goal of 10,000 steps per day tended to increase the daily exercise rate.

► People tended to progress towards this goal and to keep exercising at that rate.

► Pedometer users significantly decreased their body mass index by 0.38, when they had a step goal.

► Pedometer users significant decreased their blood pressure.

Another study of how pedometers can motivate people to lose weight and exercise more towards a goal found that:

► Pedometers were viewed as reliable and valuable devices which helped motivate people and provided a simple powerful tool for monitoring progress towards self-defined exercise and weight-loss goals.

Great Debate About the Exercise Rate and Energy Expenditure (Calories Burnt)

There is an unresolved debate about whether the amount of energy expended in walking, running and cycling over the same distance is dependent on how fast you go. If you go faster the rate of calorie burnt will increase as you are expending more energy. But you will arrive at the destination quicker and so you will exercise for a shorter period of time at the higher rate. This is the classic 'hare' and 'tortoise' race. The two sides of the argument are:

► It makes no difference how fast you go, the distance traveled will be the same and the total energy consumed will be the same.

► Walking, running and cycling at a faster pace burns more calories pushing harder against the wind. Your muscles have to work harder and so the energy consumed will be greater if you exercise at a higher rate and pace. There are other benefits of working out at higher rates and intensities which is well covered by various articles.

Why does this matter? Pedometers and the steps they count are essentially independent of the speed or rate at which you walk run or cycle. Though if you keep track of exercise times, pedometers can be used to measure and monitor your pace and speed. Stride length also tends to increase with speed, especially when shifting from a slow walk, to a fast run, and this can affect the relationship between steps and energy expended.

Eating Less or Exercising More - Which is the Best Method of Losing Weight?

There is a lot of emphasis on exercise as a weight loss method especially on programs such as 'The Biggest Loser'. But how much exercise is required? It would be useful to develop rule of thumb estimates for:

► Number of Walking Steps required to lose 1 lb and 1kg of weight

► Number of Running Steps required to lose 1 lb and 1kg of weight

What is the best method for losing weight for a set distance of daily exercise such as 10 miles, 16 kilometers?

The answers to these questions is provided below.

How many steps per day are enough for general health?

The following pedometer-measured physical activity index has been proposed:

Sedentary - less than 5,000 steps per day

Low Activity - 5,000-7,500 steps a day

Moderately Active - 7,500-9,900 steps a day

Active - 10,000 -12,500 steps a day

Highly Active - 12,5000 steps a day

How does Walking Running and Cycling Compare with Other Sports and Activities?

The image below compares the calorie expenditure rate for various activities and below is a comparison of the calorie burn rates for walking, running and cycling at various speeds.

Calories per Mile for a 160 Pound Person

Walking

Running

Cycling

The burn rate depends on the weight of the person. Heavier people burn calories at a higher rate as they are pushing against gravity!

The simple formulae below can be used to estimate your calorie burn rate per mile for speeds of about 3-5 mph (8 kph). Simply enter your weight to derive an estimate for walking and running.

Miles

Running (calories burnt per mile)

0.75 x your weight (in lbs)

1.5 x your weight (in kg)

Walking (calories burnt per mile)

0.53 x your weight (in lbs)

1.0 x your weight (in kg)

Kilometers

Running (calories burnt per km)

0.45 x your weight (in lbs)

0.9 x your weight (in kg)

Walking (calories burnt per km)

0.33 x your weight (in lbs)

0.66 x your weight (in kg)

Calorie Burn Rate per Hour for Various Activities

Calorie burn rate per hour for various activities
Calorie burn rate per hour for various activities

Converting Calories Burnt to Pounds and Kilograms of Fat Potentially Lost

► One pound of fat is equivalent to 3,500 calories.

► One kilogram of fat is equivalent to 7,000 calories

Step equivalents as steps per minute for various activities can be derived from the calorie burn rates.

Knowing the calories in a pound and kilogram of fat and the calorie burnt rates at steps we can estimate the number of hours of exercise of various types to burn one pound of fat and one kilogram of fat.

The two tables at the end of the article summarize this information.

The extract below shows that the hours required to burn one pound of fat is large, perhaps longer than most people expected. For slow walking it is about 6 hours, brisk walking/jogging - 4 hours, Fast running - 1.5 hours, cycling moderately fast - 3 hours, fast cycling 2.5 hours.

Clearly, exercising to lose weight is a lot of work. You can lose the same number of calories by starving for two days, as most people consume 2500-3000 calories a day.

Steps Required to Lose Fat

Using the data in the table below we can estimate the number of steps required to lose a pound of weight (3,500 calories). As shown below the rate at which the exercise is done (the intensity) does make a difference, but the effect is relatively small except for walking. This means that we can estimate the number of steps or step equivalents required to lose one pound and one kilogram of fat. It varies with body weight. Once again the effort required is larger than most people expect compared with dieting

Steps Required to Lose 1 lb (500 g) of Fat

► Body weight 290 lb - 44,000 steps (about 4 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 270 lb - 48,000 steps (about 5 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 250 lb - 51,000 steps (about 5 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 230 lb - 56,000 steps (about 6 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 210 lb - 61,000 steps (about 6 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 190 lb - 74,000 steps (about 7 days at 10,000 steps per day)


The estimates for kilograms are:

Steps Required to Lose 1 kg of Fat

► Body weight 145 kg - 85,000 steps (about 8 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 135 kg - 91,000 steps (about 9 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 125 kg - 98,000 steps (about 10 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 115 kg - 110,000 steps (about 11 days at 10,000 steps per day)

► Body weight 105 kg - 120,000 steps (about 12 days at 10,000 steps per day)

Hours of Various Activities Required by 290 lb person to burn one pound of fat

ExerciseSteps per minute equivalentHours for person weighing 290 lb to burn one pound of fat with the exercise
Walking 2 mph 67 steps/minute 9.6 hours
Walking 3 mph 100 steps/minute 6.1 hours
Walking 4 mph 152 steps/minute 5.2 hours
Walking 5 mph 242 steps/minute 4.3 hours
Running 8 mph 409 steps/minute 2 hours
Running 10 mph 420 steps/minute 1.5 hours
Bicycling / biking - mountain 364 steps/minute 3.1 hours
Bicycling / cycling 12-14 mph 121 steps/minute 3 hours
Bicycling / cycling 14-16 mph 364 steps/minute 2.5 hours
Swimming - moderate 212 steps/minute 4.4 hours
Swimming - vigorous 303 steps/minute 2.7 hours
Aerobics 242 steps/minute 3.8 hours
Calisthenics / exercise - vigorous 242 steps/minute 3.3 hours
Frisbee playing 91 steps/minute 8.7 hours
Gardening 121 steps/minute 4.9 hours
Golf - carry clubs 136 steps/minute 4.4 hours
Hiking 182 steps/minute 4.5 hours
Hockey 242 steps/minute 3.3 hours
Rowing machine - moderate 212 steps/minute 3.8 hours
Rowing machine - vigorous 258 steps/minute 3 hours
Skiing - cross country 242 steps/minute 2.3 hours
Skiing - downhill 182 steps/minute 3 hours
Snorkeling 152 steps/minute 5 hours
Soccer 212 steps/minute 2.6 hours
Softball or baseball 152 steps/minute 5.3 hours
Step aerobics 273 steps/minute 2.5 hours
Table tennis 121 steps/minute 6.7 hours
Tennis - doubles 212 steps/minute 6.3 hours
Tennis - singles 240 steps/minute 4.4 hours
Volleyball 121 steps/minute 7.7 hours
Water Aerobics 121 steps/minute 11.8 hours
Lifting Weights - general 121 steps/minute 7.2 hours
Lifting Weights - vigorous 182 steps/minute 7.7 hours

How Does the Type of Exercise and Speed or Rate Affect the Calories Burnt Over a Fixed Distance

There is a lot of debate about whether running, walking or cycling over a fixed distance of 10 miles, for example, burns more calories when done at a faster pace. Going faster consumes more calories, but you complete the task faster. The data used for these comparisons may also be unreliable. The images below provide some of the evidence. The major point derived from this are:

Cycling is much more efficient and burns much less calories than walking or running over a range of 'reasonable' speeds.

There is some evidence that the energy burn rate for cycling increases with speed but the differences are relatively small - 30% difference from slow to fast.

The total calories burnt when running a fixed distance appears to be unrelated to speed (apart from small difference.

Walking is the major exception. Bisk and Fast Walking consumes more calories than walking slowly. Walking is most efficient - requiring less energy per mile - at about 3-4 miles per hour. Walking at 7 mph requires twice as much energy as walking at 3 miles per hour.

Conclusion: Brisk Walking is a Good Exercise for Losing weight compared to Walking Slowly

Energy Expenditure Rates for Cycling, Running and Walking and energy consumed for a 10 mile workout y person weighting 180 lb

Activity, SpeedCalories per hour for 180 lb personCalories Burnt for distance of 10 miles
cycle 6 mph 327 545
cycle 10 mph 490 490
cycle 13 mph 654 503
cycle 15 mph 817 545
cycle 18 mph 981 545
cycle 25 mph 1308 523
run 5 mph 654 1308
run 5.2 mph 735 1413
run 6 mph 817 1362
run 6.7 mph 899 1342
run 7 mph 940 1343
run 7.5 mph 1022 1363
run 8 mph 1103 1379
run 8.6 mph 1144 1330
run 9 mph 1226 1362
run 10 mph 1308 1308
run 10.9 mph 1471 1350
walk 1 mph 163 1630
walk 2 mph 204 1020
walk 2.5 mph 245 980
walk 3 mph 270 900
walk 3.5 mph 311 889
walk 4 mph 409 1023
walk 4.5 mph 515 1144
walk 5 mph 654 1308

Calorie burn rates for various speeds walking, running and cycling

Calorie burn rates for various speeds walking, running and cycling
Calorie burn rates for various speeds walking, running and cycling | Source: Public Domain

Calorie burn rates for 10 km of walking, running and cycling

Calorie burn rates for 10 km of walking, running and cycling
Calorie burn rates for 10 km of walking, running and cycling | Source: Public Domain
Rate of energy expenditure for various speeds for walking, running and cycling ( 180 lb person)
Rate of energy expenditure for various speeds for walking, running and cycling ( 180 lb person). Source: Public Domain
Energy expended by 180 lb person cycling, running and walking for 10 miles
Energy expended by 180 lb person cycling, running and walking for 10 miles. Source: Public Domain

Hours and Steps Required to Lose one pound of Body Weight for People of Various Sizes

ActivitySteps per Minute (equiv)Hours to lose one pound (body weight 290 lb); 44000 stepsHours to lose one pound (body weight 270 lb); 48000 stepsHours to lose one pound (body weight 250 lb); 51000 stepsHours to lose one pound (body weight 230 lb); 56000 stepsHours to lose one pound (body weight 210 lb); 61000 stepsHours to lose one pound (body weight 190 lb); 74000 steps
Walking 2 mph 67 9.6 10.3 11.1 12.1 13.2 14.6
Walking 3 mph 100 6.1 6.5 7.1 7.7 8.4 9.3
Walking 4 mph 152 5.2 5.5 6 6.5 7.1 7.9
Walking 5 mph 242 4.3 4.6 5 5.4 5.9 6.6
Running 10 mph (6 Hours miles) 420 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.9 2 2.3
Running 12 mph (5 Hours miles) 440 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.8
Running 5 mph (12 Hours miles) 242 3.1 3.4 3.6 4 4.3 4.8
Running 6 mph (10 Hours miles) 303 2.6 2.8 3.1 3.3 3.7 4
Running 7 mph (8.5 Hours miles) 348 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.5
Running 8 mph (7.5 Hours miles) 409 2 2.1 2.3 2.5 2.7 3
Bicycling / biking - mountain 364 3.1 3.4 3.6 4 4.3 4.8
Bicycling / cycling 12-14 mph 121 3 3.3 3.5 3.8 4.2 4.7
Bicycling / cycling 14-16 mph 364 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.5 3.8
Stationary bicycle / spinning - moderate 212 3.8 4.1 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.8
Stationary bicycle / spinning - vigorous 318 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.6
Swimming - moderate 212 4.4 4.7 5.1 5.5 6 6.7
Swimming - vigorous 303 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.4 3.8 4.1
Aerobics - high impact 242 3.8 4.1 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.8
Aerobics - low impact 197 4.4 4.7 5.1 5.5 6 6.7
Badminton 136 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.5 8.2 9
Basketball - shooting baskets 136 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.5 8.2 9
Basketball full court 242 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.1 3.3 3.7
Bowling 91 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1 13.3
Calisthenics / exercise - moderate 106 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.5 8.2 9
Calisthenics / exercise - vigorous 242 3.3 3.5 3.8 4.2 4.6 5
Cooking 61 10.1 10.8 11.7 12.7 13.9 15.4
Croquet 76 10.6 11.4 12.3 13.3 14.6 16.2
Fencing 182 4.5 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.2 6.8
Fishing 91 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1 13.3
Football - full contact 242 2.8 3 3.2 3.5 3.8 4.2
Frisbee playing 91 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1 13.3
Garden 121 4.9 5.3 5.7 6.2 6.8 7.5
Golf - carry clubs 136 4.4 4.7 5.1 5.5 6 6.7
Golf - pull cart 120 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.5 8.2 9
Handball 364 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.1 3.4
Hiking 182 4.5 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.2 6.8
Hockey 242 3.3 3.5 3.8 4.2 4.6 5
Horseback riding 121 10.6 11.4 12.3 13.3 14.6 16.2
Hunting 152 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3 8.1
Jogging 212 3.8 4.1 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.8
Jumping jacks - moderate 303 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.5 8.2 9
Kayaking 152 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3 8.1
Lacrosse 242 3.1 3.4 3.6 4 4.3 4.8
Racquetball casual 212 3.8 4.1 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.8
Raking lawn 121 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.5 9.3 10.2
Rowing machine - moderate 212 3.8 4.1 4.4 4.8 5.2 5.8
Rowing machine - vigorous 258 3 3.3 3.5 3.8 4.2 4.7
Rugby 303 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.5 3.8
Shopping 70 11.2 12 13 14.1 15.4 17.1
Sitting / resting 30 25.1 27 29.2 31.7 34.7 38.4
Skateboarding 152 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3 8.1
Skating – moderate (ice) 264 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3 8.1
Skating (ice) – vigorous Inline Skating 364 2.9 3.1 3.4 3.7 4 4.4
Ski machine 212 2.8 3 3.2 3.5 3.8 4.2
Skiing - cross country 242 2.3 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.6
Skiing - downhill 182 3 3.3 3.5 3.8 4.2 4.7
Snorkeling 152 5 5.4 5.8 6.3 6.9 7.7
Soccer competitive 212 2.6 2.8 3.1 3.3 3.7 4
Softball or baseball 152 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3 8.1
Step aerobics 273 2.5 2.7 2.9 3.2 3.5 3.8
Table tennis 121 6.7 7.2 7.8 8.5 9.3 10.2
Tennis - doubles 212 6.3 6.8 7.3 7.9 8.7 9.6
Tennis - singles 240 4.4 4.7 5.1 5.5 6 6.7
Volleyball 121 7.7 8.3 9 9.8 10.7 11.8
Water Aerobics 121 11.8 12.7 13.7 14.9 16.3 18.1
Lifting Weights - general 121 7.2 7.7 8.3 9.1 9.9 11
Lifting Weights - vigorous 182 7.7 8.3 9 9.8 10.7 11.8

Hours and Steps Required to Lose one kilogram of Body Weight for People of Various Sizes

ActivitySteps per Minute (equiv)Hours to lose one kilogram (body weight 145 kg); 85000 stepsHours to lose one kilogram (body weight 135 kg); 91000 stepsHours to lose one kilogram (body weight 125 kg); 98000 stepsHours to lose one kilogram (body weight 115 kg); 110000 stepsHours to lose one kilogram (body weight 105 kg); 120000 steps
Walking 3.2 kph 67 19.1 20.5 22.2 24.1 26.4
Walking 4.8 kph 100 12.2 13.1 14.1 15.3 16.8
Walking 6.4 kph 152 10.3 11.1 11.9 13 14.2
Running 8 kph 242 6.3 6.7 7.3 7.9 8.7
Running 9.6 kph 303 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3
Running 11.2 kph 348 4.6 5 5.4 5.8 6.4
Running 12.8 kph 409 3.9 4.2 4.6 5 5.4
Running 16 kph 420 3 3.2 3.4 3.7 4.1
Running 19.2 kph 440 2.4 2.6 2.8 3 3.3
Bicycling - Mountain 364 6.3 6.7 7.3 7.9 8.7
Bicycling 19.2-22.4 kph 121 6.1 6.5 7.1 7.7 8.4
Bicycling 22.4-25.6 kph 364 5 5.4 5.8 6.3 6.9
Stationary Bicycle - moderate 212 7.6 8.1 8.8 9.6 10.5
Stationary Bicycle - vigorous 318 4.7 5 5.4 5.9 6.4
Swimming - moderate 212 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1
Swimming - vigorous 303 5.4 5.8 6.3 6.8 7.5
Aerobics - high impact 242 7.6 8.1 8.8 9.6 10.5
Aerobics - low impact 197 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1
Badminton 136 11.8 12.7 13.7 14.9 16.3
Basketball - shooting baskets 136 11.8 12.7 13.7 14.9 16.3
Basketball full court 242 4.8 5.2 5.6 6.1 6.7
Bowling 91 17.5 18.7 20.2 22 24.1
Calisthenics - moderate 106 11.8 12.7 13.7 14.9 16.3
Calisthenics - vigorous 242 6.6 7.1 7.6 8.3 9.1
Cooking 61 20.1 21.6 23.3 25.3 27.7
Croquet 76 21.1 22.7 24.5 26.6 29.2
Fencing 182 8.9 9.6 10.3 11.2 12.3
Fishing 91 17.5 18.7 20.2 22 24.1
Football - full contact 242 5.5 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.6
Frisbee playing 91 17.5 18.7 20.2 22 24.1
Garden 121 9.8 10.5 11.4 12.3 13.5
Golf - carry clubs 136 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1
Golf - cart 120 15.4 16.6 17.9 19.5 21.3
Handball 364 4.4 4.7 5.1 5.6 6.1
Hiking 182 8.9 9.6 10.3 11.2 12.3
Hockey 242 6.6 7.1 7.6 8.3 9.1
Horseback riding - walking 121 21.1 22.7 24.5 26.6 29.2
Hunting 152 10.6 11.3 12.3 13.3 14.6
Jogging 212 7.6 8.1 8.8 9.6 10.5
Kayaking 152 10.6 11.3 12.3 13.3 14.6
Lacrosse 242 6.3 6.7 7.3 7.9 8.7
Racquetball casual 212 7.6 8.1 8.8 9.6 10.5
Raking lawn 121 13.4 14.4 15.5 16.9 18.5
Rowing Machine - moderate 212 7.6 8.1 8.8 9.6 10.5
Rowing Machine - vigorous 258 6.1 6.5 7.1 7.7 8.4
Rugby 303 5 5.4 5.8 6.3 6.9
Shopping 70 22.3 24 25.9 28.1 30.8
Sitting 30 50.2 53.9 58.2 63.3 69.3
Skateboarding 152 10.6 11.3 12.3 13.3 14.6
Skating - moderate 264 10.6 11.3 12.3 13.3 14.6
Skating - vigorous 364 5.8 6.2 6.7 7.3 8
Ski Machine 212 5.5 5.9 6.4 6.9 7.6
Skiing - cross country 242 4.7 5 5.4 5.9 6.4
Skiing - downhill 182 6.1 6.5 7.1 7.7 8.4
Snorkeling 152 10 10.8 11.6 12.7 13.9
Soccer competitive 212 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.7 7.3
Softball or baseball 152 10.6 11.3 12.3 13.3 14.6
Step Aerobics 273 5 5.4 5.8 6.3 6.9
Swimming - moderate 212 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1
Swimming - vigorous 303 5.4 5.8 6.3 6.8 7.5
Table tennis 121 13.4 14.4 15.5 16.9 18.5
Tennis - doubles 212 12.5 13.5 14.6 15.8 17.3
Tennis - singles 240 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1
Volleyball - competitive 121 12.2 13.1 14.1 15.3 16.8
Washing car 242 11.8 12.7 13.7 14.9 16.3
Water Aerobics 121 13.4 14.4 15.5 16.9 18.5
Lifting Weights - general 121 15.4 16.6 17.9 19.5 21.3
Lifting Weights - vigorous 182 8.7 9.4 10.1 11 12.1