Moderators: melkor

Hello, all!

 I have a question in regards to how reliable you think a treadmill calorie burn counter is.  I usually walk at incline 9.5, for 3 miles.  My treadmill said that I burn around 605 calories?  I walk at 4.0 mph.  Do you think this number is accurate?

You guys are great here, and I really like the helpful hints and suggestions I get.


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hmmm i do the same thing as you and my treadmill says i only burned only 204 calories, i hope yours is accurate than mine though! hehe
don't look at it, it's not accurate...

when you feel weak and can't continue (not because of pain, just weak like wanting to sleep), it means your sugar levels dropped and that you burned about 700-800 calories (that is if you do lower-body aerobic)

hehe!  rubester668 - wouldn't it be nice if it WERE accurate? Laughing   ben_b - I will take your advice.  I did not think it could be accurate at all.  I KNOW the step counter IS accurate though.

I guess I will just keep walking till I get that "weak" sensation, or just go by the number of steps.

Thanks for the replies!

The most important thing is keeping your heart rate up. Not too high; there is a zone that is right for you for cardio training and one for fat burn. Make sure you watch that number. But I agree, the calorie burned figures are not accurate.
i would check out online how much you burn per hour based on your height, weight and age to get a more accurate idea

Most exercise equipment has a default weight it uses as a source for calories burned. I'm not sure what it is, but if your weight does not match it, you will be burning a different amount of calories. More weight = more energy needed to work = more calories burned. For example, if a treadmill's default weight is a 150 lb. man, and you are a 120 lb. woman, the calories burned would be completely different.

Does that make sense? Sometimes I tend to ramble when trying to help explain or give advice.... :)

I have been watching this for a good while as well as the posts on this subject here.  The concensus here is that the Polar heart rate monitors (HRM) provide a more accurate estimation of calories burned since they require full information on the wearer, i.e., age, weight, sex., and they estimate the calories burned using the heart rate while factoring in the personal data.

With the treadmill requiring runner's weight only, I have tracked its estimation of calories expended in comparison with the Polar HRM.  I have observed that the treadmill's calculation can be anywhere from exactly matching the HRM to the there being as much as a 50% disparity in the calorie estimate between the treadmill and HRM.

The treadmill appears to make a nonlinear calculation based upon its estimate of exertion calculated on speed, elevation and weight.  At some speeds with some elevations it is dead on, at others it is way way off.  I have also noted that the higher the speed the greater the disparity and that the most accurate readings on the treadmill are for speeds below 4.5 MPH.  Once at or above 4.5 MPH, the treadmills numbers take off exponentially. 

This has conviced me to use only the HRM estimate of calories burned for a treadmill session.
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