Good news for walkers trying to lose weight: you're likely to be burning more calories than you think.
See also: Why walking is better for you than going to the gym
That's according to researchers from the Southern Methodist University, Texas, who say that walking burns more calories than standard estimates would have us believe.
After analysing the existing equations and data used for determining energy expenditures, they found that 97% of the estimates came in too low. Most calculations were developed about 40 years ago, and are based on a 'one-size-fits-all' equation.
In response, the team in Dallas has developed an updated mathematical method.
Lindsay Ludlow, one of the researchers, said, "Our new equation is formulated to apply regardless of the height, weight and speed of the walker. And it's appreciably more accurate."
At this time, the calculation only applies to walking done on a firm, flat surface, but the group plans to expand it to include up and downhill walking and treks taken while carrying objects.
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