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The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of body composition on energy expenditure (EE) of 164 young adults during a 1-mile walk and a 1-mile run on a treadmill. Segmental bioimpedance was used to measure body composition variables. The EE in men (108.3 ± 17.6 kcal) was greater than (P < 0.05) women (80.3 ± 10.6 kcal) during the 1-mile walk, and the difference increased in magnitude during the 1-mile run (144.9 ± 23.2 kcal vs. 105.1 ± 14.9 kcal, respectively). When EE was expressed per unit of body mass, men and women were similar. However, women had a higher EE per unit of fat-free mass (FFM). Regardless of gender, running 1-mile resulted in a greater EE than walking 1-mile. In addition, men expended more absolute calories than women due to a higher body mass. When EE was examined relative to FFM, women were found to be less economical than men, which was most likely due to carrying larger amounts of inactive adipose tissue.


Originally published as: Pauley, A., Dixon, C. B., Rawson, E. S., McConnell, T. R., & Andreacci, J. L. (2016). The impact of body composition on energy expenditure during walking and running in young adults. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 19(1), 66+.