How Many Calories Does Walking Burn?

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Walking can be a sport, a form of workout, or a way to move around. Find out how many calories you burn while doing these things.

Your exact results can vary but the average person will burn around 103 to 178 calories while walking at 3 mph for 30 minutes.

One of the fun facts about walking is that your body weight will influence your calorie-burning results a lot.

The 103 calories burned while walking for 30 minutes is the estimation for a 125-pound (56 kg) person. On the other end, 178 calories are the estimation for a 215-pound (97 kg) person.

That aside, this article will also go over what details influence your results a lot, in-depth estimations for different speeds, distances, and even steps, how to burn more calories while walking, and more.

Biggest factors in calories burned with walking

Something important to note is that you should not take the calorie-burning estimations for walking too precisely. There are many hard-to-measure details that will influence your actual results a lot.

At the same time, you can still get somewhat better estimations by looking at a few important things. These things will also help you figure out how to burn more calories while walking.

A few examples of factors that influence how many calories you burn with walking include:

  • Weight: Your body needs energy (calories) to function and move around. These processes tend to burn more calories for heavier individuals.
  • Walking speed: Faster movements tend to require more energy. That means your walking speed will influence how many calories you burn per minute.
  • Body composition: The human body can consist of different ratios of tissues. An amount of body fat will tend to burn fewer calories while walking than the same weight in muscle mass.
  • Slope: Just moving your body forward requires less energy than moving your body forward and upward. Walking on steeper slopes will generally burn more calories.
  • Walking surface: Walking on flat surfaces like asphalt tends to require just a bit less energy than walking on a forest road with bumps.
People walking on slope to burn more calories

Charts of walking calorie-burning estimations

If you want to keep things simple, you can look at a cheat sheet from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention that mentions you burn around 3.5-7 calories per minute of walking (1).

That being said, most people will be interested in more detailed estimations for their weight, speed, number of steps, etc. For this, you can use MET values.

MET values are numbers that estimate (or measure if there are studies) how physically intense certain workouts and activities are.

You can then get calorie-burning estimations by inserting the MET in this formula:

METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

Some examples of METs for walking are an MET of 3.5 at a moderate pace of about 3 mph, an MET of 4 for brisk walking at about 3.5 mph, and an MET of 4.5 for very brisk walking at about 4.5 mph (2).

The calorie-burning charts for time intervals, distance, and steps below will use the MET for walking at a moderate pace of about 3 mph.

After that, you can also find a comparison of the number of calories burned with different walking speeds.

Again, remember that these are all very rough estimations. In reality, your results can vary a good amount.

Calories burned with walking per time interval

Many people will prefer knowing how many calories they burn per minute(s) of walking since time is relatively convenient to measure.

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds
(56 kg)
3 calories52 calories103 calories155 calories207 calories
155 Pounds
(70 kg)
4 calories64 calories128 calories192 calories256 calories
185 Pounds
(84 kg)
5 calories76 calories153 calories229 calories306 calories
215 Pounds
(97 kg)
6 calories89 calories178 calories267 calories356 calories
Calories burned while walking at 3 mph for different durations

Calories burned with walking per distance

You may also want to know how much walking you have to do to lose weight or at least have a specific route or trail you want to follow.

Weight Person
1 Mile
(1.6 Km)
2 Miles
(3.2 Km)
3 Miles
(4.8 Km)
4 Miles
(6.4 Km)
5 Miles
(8.1 Km)
125 Pounds
(56 kg)
69 calories138 calories207 calories276 calories345 calories
155 Pounds
(70 kg)
85 calories171 calories256 calories342 calories427 calories
185 Pounds
(84 kg)
102 calories204 calories306 calories408 calories510 calories
215 Pounds
(97 kg)
119 calories237 calories356 calories474 calories593 calories
Calories burned walking certain distances at 3 mph

Calories burned with walking per amounts of steps

With the rising popularity of step counters, many people are also interested in how many steps they need to achieve certain goals.

These numbers are based on the estimation that walking a mile at 3 mph is about 2200 steps (3).

Weight Person
100 Steps1,000 Steps2,000 Steps10,000 Steps15,000 Steps
125 Pounds
(56 kg)
3 calories31 calories63 calories313 calories470 calories
155 Pounds
(70 kg)
4 calories39 calories78 calories388 calories583 calories
185 Pounds
(84 kg)
5 calories46 calories93 calories464 calories695 calories
215 Pounds
(97 kg)
5 calories54 calories108 calories539 calories808 calories
Calories burned per amounts of steps while walking at 3 mph

Calories burned walking at different speeds

You may also wonder whether picking up the pace is really worth it in terms of calorie burning. The estimations below are for walking at different speeds for 30 minutes.

Weight Person
(3 mph/4.8 kmh)
(3.5 mph/5.6 kmh)
(4 mph/6.4 kmh)
125 Pounds (56 kg)103 calories118 calories133 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)128 calories146 calories165 calories
185 Pounds (84 kg)153 calories175 calories197 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)178 calories203 calories229 calories
Calories burned walking at different speeds for 30 minutes

Ways to burn more calories while walking

As you can see from the last chart with different walking speeds, how many calories you burn with this activity is not always the same.

This can be good news in the sense that you can get more results per minute of walking by making a few modifications.

First of all, walking faster will typically burn more calories per minute.

Secondly, you can make it so your body has to move more weight in healthy ways.

One way to do this is by walking with weights like a weighted vest or heavy backpack.

Additionally, you can build some muscle mass with resistance training exercises. A benefit of these workouts is that they will burn calories too.

Thirdly, you can walk on a more challenging surface, for example uphill.

The MET estimation for walking 3.5 mph on a flat surface is 4 whereas the MET estimation for walking 3.5 mph uphill is 6 (2).

In calories burned, that would mean that a 155-pound (70 kg) individual walking 3.5 mph for 15 minutes would burn around 73 calories on a flat surface vs 110 calories uphill. That’s a relatively big difference.

Person walking with backpack

How long does it take to see results from walking?

Hitting your calorie-burning goals for the day feels nice but you likely also want to know whether walking can help you lose weight and to what extent.

If that is the case, you want to keep in mind that your habits in areas like nutrition will influence your weight loss results from walking a lot.

That being said, to get a rough idea of the effects of walking, you can temporarily assume all the extra calories you burn come from fat (even though this will likely not be the case).

A 185-pound (84 kg) person will burn around 714 calories or 0.2 pounds (0.09 kg) of body fat by walking for 20 minutes a day for a week.

If the same person keeps up this walking habit for 30 days, they will burn an extra 3060 calories or about 0.87 pounds (0.38 kg) of body fat.

Keep in mind that as this person (and you) lose weight, walking will start to burn fewer calories per minute.

Is walking good for burning calories?

From a per-minute perspective, walking is not that good for burning calories compared to many exercise options.

At the same time, it is worth mentioning that walking is relatively soft on your body and that you can do it for long amounts of time.

These benefits of walking can be helpful for people who are new to exercise and/or are not able to do these intenser workouts.

In simpler words, walking can be good for burning calories if your body is not able to deal with more effective workouts (yet).

People who are in a situation like that, can try to walk faster, uphill, and potentially with weights to see more results.

If you are able to do these other more intense exercise options, they can burn a lot more calories per minute than walking.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.