Friday, June 17, 2005

Walking vs. Running

One of the guys at work made a comment in passing the other day that regardless of your speed, whether you walk one mile or jog one mile you will burn approximately the same number of calories.

Since he made the comment a group of us has divided in two: one group calling bullshit on his statement and another that agrees with him.

I did a little research and came up with some data to back MY claim that his statement is incorrect. The people who agree with his statement still believe that they're right even after reading my data. They tried to explain the reasoning behind throwing out what I think is fairly plain and simple proof, but I didn't quite follow their logic.

Here is my data for a person who weighs 130 pounds:

Speed(MPH)---Time(Hours)--Distance(Miles)--Calories--Calories Per Mile

My source for the number of calories burned for each different speed can be found at

In order to prove my point, time is held constant because the data is given to me in varying speeds, but I need to know the calories burned at each speed in one single mile. So by breaking the data down to calories burned PER MILE (calories burned divided by distance) we can see the difference that speed makes, therefore making speed the only constant. This is the essence of the debate; which speed burns more calories, a fast one or a slow one?

I would say that assuming all other factors held constant (e.g. incline, wind-resistance, etc.) this clearly proves that traveling at a faster speed burns more calories PER MILE than traveling at a slower speed. I don't understand the argument that this data proves nothing. All the other guys are saying is that it just isn't true, with no support for their side of the argument. They have found a couple of websites that STATE that running and walking burn the same number of calories, but none that provide any measured and researched DATA to back up the claim.

I'm not saying that I am unequivocally right, but no one has given me some hard proof that what I'm saying is way off base.

What do you guys think? Can anyone see a fallacy in my logic that I'm missing? If so please share because I don't mind being wrong, I just want to know what the right answer is.