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What Does Kcal Mean on a Pedometer?

author image Eleanor McKenzie
Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.
What Does Kcal Mean on a Pedometer?
A woman is holding a pedometer. Photo Credit: Angela Schmidt/iStock/Getty Images

Basic battery-powered pedometers measure the number of steps a person takes during a walking, running or jogging session. They're shown on a digital display. Some pedometers also have a kcal digital display function. This shows the number of calories burned during exercise. Kcal is an abbreviation of kilocalorie and represents a unit of energy containing 1,000 calories.

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Counting Calories

You need to enter your weight in the pedometer because it calculates your kcal expenditure per pound, per hour. For example, walking at the moderate pace of 3 mph burns 1.05 kcal per pound. That means a person weighing 150 pounds burns 158 kcal or calories, per hour of walking. To lose a pound in weight, you need to burn 3,500 kCals, which is equivalent to 22 hours of walking at 3 mph. The kCal counter on the pedometer can help you keep track of this data. However, the American College of Sports Medicine warns that pedometers are not very accurate at counting kCals burned. For example, the gadget doesn't recognize the extra energy a person uses going uphill.

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