Does walking 5km burn the same amount of calories as running?

When I first read this I thought not, but having thought through the answer it depends on how you look at it.

There are a few things to consider here.

Firstly, both walking and running 5km require the same amount of work.

Work is defined as force x distance and is expressed in calories.

So the total calories of work will be the same for walking and running.

However, the body produces energy in a different way while running or walking.

Energy production at a higher intensity is less efficient, leading to increased energy expenditure in comparison to lower intensities.

So running would burn more calories during the 5km because of decreased efficiency.

The final thing to consider is the total time spent exercising.

Let’s say that running 5km takes 30 minutes while walking takes one hour.

The energy expenditure from the work might be the same, but the walking will use an additional 30-minutes of energy expenditure from basal metabolism.

Therefore to compare energy expenditure accurately, we would measure the energy expenditure from the 30-minute run and the following 30 minutes doing you might be up to.

This leaves us with three potential outcomes or answers to this question, which is two more than I thought we would have.

30 minutes of running will burn more than energy than 30 minutes of walking.

30 minutes of running followed by 30 minutes of doing nothing probably burns a similar energy to 60 minutes of walking.

30 minutes of running followed by 30 minutes of normal activity would burn more energy than 60-minutes of walking only.

I hope that makes sense...

Tom Fitzgerald