Studies conducted by The University of California Human Performance Center show that your run of the mill cardio machine probably isn’t being truthful about how many calories you burn. In fact, the elliptical overestimated calories by 42 %, treadmills by 13 %, stair climber by 12 % and stationary bike by 7 %. Most cardio machines don’t ask or measure your age, height, body fat, metabolic rate or fitness level; all are important variables in accuracy. Another item to take into consideration is that the machine’s software doesn’t adjust to compensate for the wear and tear that occurs over time, which can ultimately change the resistance and your total calorie burn.
For more fitness notes like this one check out the Feb/Mar 2012 issue of Inside Fitness!