# Sedentary - should I add steps on more active days?

Posts: 371 Member
Hi all - my job is pretty much sedentary and I've set my cals for that. However sometimes I do get a bit of walking across the day - but not really in bursts I can time.

I have a new fitness band that synchs to my phone but it doesn't partner/mesh with MFP at all (I checked the list).

Should I add my steps in somehow ?- the band tracks how far I move too and has a cals used reading too.

## Replies

• Posts: 10,330 Member
edited May 2018
Does the band have a stride length setting? If you can set that up and measure your stride length by counting steps for a known distance you can get a reasonably accurate distance reading, otherwise just go with what it estimates your distance to be. Using distance and the average time it takes you to cross a certain distance you can calculate your average pace (err on the side of slower when you do your pace test because day to day walking around the house and whatnot is usually slower). Doing a couple of these tests you will be able to easily have a good estimation of your average speed for any future calculations. You don't need to time and measure every time, just a couple of times as a test to get an average.

I like this website:
https://www.exrx.net/Calculators/WalkRunMETs

For eat-back purposes, use the "net" value.

You could also use a generic distance-based formula, but I like the calculator above because unlike running, which is relatively stable, energy efficiency at different speeds is quite variable for walking, so a distance-based formula with a constant isn't the most accurate thing. If you aren't walking much and your speed is about average, the difference wouldn't be big, so the formula estimation would be fine.

Keep in mind, about 2.5 km (or roughly 1.5 miles if you think in miles) is already accounted for in your sedentary setting.

Example: say at the end of the day your band says you've walked 6.5 kilometers. This means you walked 4 km over sedentary (your distance minus 2.5). Your average speed is 4 km per hour. This means you've spent 1 hour walking on average (your distance after sedentary divided by your average speed). You enter your speed as 4 km/ hour, your time as 1 hour, make sure to select "net" for energy, and add the resulting calories to MFP. You will likely be able to eat all of these back.

If you're using a formula, just multiply your distance by your weight and the multiplier the formula gives you (I don't have that formula handy, maybe someone else could chime in).

Tip: if you want to start the day with an eat-back value, always log your walking calories to next day. For example, if you burned 200 calories by the end of Saturday, log them to Sunday. On Sunday you will start the day with a higher calorie allowance already. Makes meal planning easier instead of scrambling for random foods you may not even want in the evening in order to reach your calorie goal. You may not be eating more on your more active days, but it doesn't matter because it all averages out.

Edit: edited to account for steps already accounted for in sedentary setting.
• Posts: 371 Member
ok thanks - do you happen to know how many steps are accounted for in sedentary setting?
• Posts: 371 Member
and all the other settings while I'm at it!
• Posts: 10,330 Member
and all the other settings while I'm at it!

This is just from experience with Fitbit and varies depending on intensity by as much as 1000 (I run sometimes), but for me, sedentary is around 3000 steps, lightly active around 7000, active around 12000. Note that my stride length is atypical, so you may be able to get away with fewer steps for each activity level.
• Posts: 19,811 Member
Your general but variable daily walking around is just part of your activity setting and doesn't need to be micro managed, it's an average.

If your weight loss rate is as expected then your current setting is working, if it isn't then consider changing it.
You can also change your goal manually if you want to fine tune rather than make larger adjustments by changing your setting.
• Posts: 371 Member
probably best to average over about 6 weeks or so then consider changing?
• Posts: 10,330 Member
probably best to average over about 6 weeks or so then consider changing?

That would be a great idea. The calculations above are just in case you were interested in numbers like I am, in no way it needs to be more complicated than it needs to be.
• Posts: 371 Member
thanks @amusedmonkey I do appreciate it - and yes I'm interested in numbers - they are what got me where I am - within 7-8lbs of goal!