Slow Walking Burns More Calories, Easier on Joints

Urban ranger is an inspirational metaphor to get you walking. Warning: there is poetry involved. Discuss it here.
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Slow Walking Burns More Calories, Easier on Joints

Post by i-try-2-b-fit » Sat Sep 06, 2014 12:45 pm ... lk0605.htm

Walking slowly not only burns more calories per mile, it may also save wear and tear on the joints of those who are obese. With increasing interest in slow walking with a treadmill desk, walkers want to know whether they are getting any benefit.

Burn More Calories per Mile at 2 MPH

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder confirmed that people burn more calories per mile walking a very leisurely 2 miles per hour than walking a moderate to brisk 3 to 4 miles per hour. Researcher Ray Browning also noted a surprise finding, that obese people have modified their body movement so that they are energy-efficient walkers. While they burn more calories per mile due to moving more weight over that distance, the calories burned per pound of body weight was similar to lean people.

Slower Walking is Easier on the Joints

More good news is that strolling slower also reduces the loads on the knee joints by 25%. This can be an important factor as obese people take up an exercise program to burn calories while reducing the risk of injury. "The message is that by walking more slowly, obese individuals can burn more calories per mile and may reduce the risk of arthritis or joint injury," said Ray Browning in a press release. Walking with fitness poles has a similar effect, burning more calories per mile while taking pressure off of the knees and joints.

Add Low-Impact Cardio Exercise

Slower walking has one drawback, it doesn't give the aerobic training effect produced by walking fast enough to raise the heart rate. Browning recommends adding other vigorous lower-impact activities like swimming, cycling, step routines and elliptical training workouts.

Why Do You Burn More Calories at Low Speed?

At low speeds, you lose the efficiency of already being in motion - momentum, as one step is the springboard to the next step. This makes your muscles work a little harder with each step.

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Post by fwinter » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:43 pm

I was skeptical until that last sentence, now it makes sense!

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Post by eschano » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:52 am

Wow, no wonder Italians are so lean - my friend always drives me crazy with his low speed of walking ha!

But joking aside: good info, thanks!
eschano - Vanilla rocks!

July 2012- January 2016
Started again July 2018

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Post by kevn57 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:17 pm

For obese people with knee problems this makes sense, but I've searched and can't find any documentation for the study that shows how many more calories are burned by walking inefficiently at 2 mph. Closest thing I can find is people who use winged shoes increase calories burned by 30%.
Other CU studies conducted in CU's Locomotion Laboratory have shown that normal weight people wearing "winged" shoes designed to force them to increase their lateral leg swing increased the metabolic cost of walking by 30 percent, Browning said. ... 061516.htm

If I walked at that 2mph speed, rather then my normal 4 mph rate it would take twice as long to cover the mile, so unless walking at 2 mph burns twice as many calories you'd be much better off walking at 4 mph and walking a little farther like 1.33 miles to burn the extra calories unless you have unlimited time to exercise. Another thing to consider is that from what I've been able to locate on the internet this study was done in 2005, if this was a superior way to walk I think it'd be more widely reported and more recommend on health and fitness sites.

A good pair of running/walking shoes that are correctly matched to your foot type will do a world of good for knee pain, as will proper form. I started using Chi Running and my knee pain is completely gone, all from one line in the book that recommends running as if on a tight rope, it keeps me from over pronating and my knee pain is gone.

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Post by larisa0001 » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:33 am

As someone who actually majored in biomechanics, I'd be very wary of changing anything about the biomechanics of one's gait in order to make it less efficient - it sounds like a recipe for injuring oneself. Those winged shoes that make you change your gait made me wince.

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Post by oolala53 » Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:23 am

kevyn, I envy you your Chi running results. I took several Sunday morning mini-clinics with a local runner (decades!) and just couldn't get the hang of it.

Browsing the boards trying to get my mind around being consistent with something. I'm not a complete potato, but dang! I actually have the time...though not consistently in the morning. Anyway...
Count plates, not calories. Three a day. 9 years & counting
Age 65
SBMI Jan/10-30.8
Mar/13-24.9 Stayed at +/- 8-lb. for three years Sept/17 22.8 (but more fluctuation)
Mar/18 22.2

There is no S better than Vanilla No S.

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