How Accurate Are Treadmill Calorie Counters?

We know how convenient calories counters are on treadmills and cardio machines. They give you all the information you need when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. But are they truly reliable with regards to their efficiency? Let’s find out!

Once you start working out, seeing how many calories you’re burning can be satisfying. And once you’re done, finding the results about how much effort did you put in is even more rewarding. It certainly makes you feel better and motivated so you push yourself to do an intense workout.

The questions arise here how accurate are treadmill calorie counters? So, it is imperative to mention that these calories counts are just rough estimates and aren’t very accurate. While some cardio machines are quite efficient and more reliable than others, their calorie counts are never going to be 100% true. Several factors add to the process of you burning calories. These machines usually add 15-20% of the total ratio.

However, what you can do is rely on some simple tips to determine how many calories you’re burning more accurately.

Personal factors that affect the calorie-burning process

If you have ever done a workout in a high-end gymnasium, you must have seen how the machines they have installed there ask for your details before you begin. These details usually include your height, age, and weight. But the point is, to determine the accurate number of calories burnt, more details are required than just these.

Cardio machines like treadmills use standard formulas to give an estimated amount of number burnt calories. More aspects need to be added to get the accurate number and we are mentioning them below,

Body Composition

When you begin your exercising regime, you will burn fewer calories due to having a massive amount of fat on your body. But as you get regular, you will shed weight, and soon, you will be burning far more calories than before.

Fitness Level

Whether you’re just starting on an exercising routine or switching one, the newer you are, the more energetic you will be and you will burn more calories. However, as you become efficient, you will become fewer calories in the same amount of time so don’t forget to intensify your routine and extend your exercising period.

Body Size

If two people have the same body weight, the one who has a larger body frame will be able to burn more calories.


Some machines ask for age while some don’t. Nonetheless, as you grow older, you will not be able to burn the same amount of calories as you did when you were younger.

However, what you can do to make up for this difference is to increase the intensity of your workout or exercise longer.

Don’t rely on treadmill calorie counters

When it comes to determining how many calories you have burnt, we would suggest that you take the estimated number into account along with a grain of salt. It is great to use these numbers as benchmarks but don’t completely rely on them.

Rather, intensify your routine and keep extending your time duration for a workout. Once you do that, you will see a massive difference in your lifestyle and will shed more weight quickly.

Monitoring heart rate is a great way to count calories with a 90% margin of accuracy. Generally speaking, the higher the HR, the more calories you burn per minute. So it’s more important to focus on ensuring your HR doesn’t drop below a bpm threshold where it’s not working hard enough. At that point, you will know to increase the intensity. To find the best heart rate for burning calories, first calculate your maximum HR by subtracting your age from 220. The optimal fat-burning zone should be around 70% of that so times your number by 0.7 to get the beats per minute to run at. Some treadmills like the NordicTrack T 6.5 S we reviewed have built-in workout options that can adjust the performance settings during training so you stay in the fat burning zone.

A foot pod, HR watch or even some fitness apps can be more accurate alternatives to treadmills but certainly the most expensive treadmills are a more convenient way to go if you can afford it.


So, this is everything we had regarding the accuracy of calorie counters on the treadmill. We hope we were able to shed some light on how these calories counters work and everything you need to take into account for more accuracy.

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