Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There are numerous online calorie calculators for running (e.g. from runners world). What is the underlying formula for calculating energy expenditure while running? This post has an excellent answer for the analog of calories burned throughout the day.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

I googled a bit and stumbled upon the following formula. The source claims it's from Journal of Sports Sciences.

Men use the following formula:

Calories Burned = [(Age x 0.2017) + (Weight x 0.09036) + (Heart Rate x 0.6309) -- 55.0969] x Time / 4.184.

Women use the following formula:

Calories Burned = [(Age x 0.074) -- (Weight x 0.05741) + (Heart Rate x 0.4472) -- 20.4022] x Time / 4.184.


For example, here’s my formula based on a 49 year old male weighing 155 for a workout where my heart rate averages about 148 bpm throughout a 60-minute FitCamp workout.

[(49 x 0.2017) + (155 x 0.09036) + (148 x 0.6309) – 55.0969] x 60/4.184 =

[9.8833 + 14.0058 + 93.3792 – 55.0969] x 14.3403 = 891.47 calories (or 15 kcal/min)

This is the most comprehensive (and quite recent) formula I could find, which takes in account many factors that others don't (age, heart rate etc.). Hope it helps :)

share|improve this answer
This looks great! Thanks. I just don't get why there aren't more comparable things for running explicitly. –  DilithiumMatrix Mar 27 '14 at 17:11
I'd double check the formula above, as a quick Google shows the supposed male formula being used in an all female study: COMPARISION OF ENERGY EXPENDITURE DURING WALKING AND RUNNING ON TRACK BEFORE AND AFTER TRAINING IN YOUNG HEALTHY ADULT WOMEN, Note: both the site and the paper are vague as to the origin of the formula. –  arober11 yesterday

It depends, there are quite a few different formulas available, depending on who was doing the research, and when it was performed. To some extent, the method used to determine the calories burned can have an effect on the formula.


That is a link to a published study from Syracuse University, comparing several different methods of calculating calorie burn. If you are looking at a watch, treadmill or other device that is measuring it for you, somewhere in their literature they should be describing what method they are using.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.