For Burning Calories, Anyway
A Mayo Clinic study has determined that over any given timespan, using an elliptical machine burns about 16 percent more calories than walking. Moreover, the elliptical machine subjects the exerciser's joints to less impact stress. Specifically, a 160-pound individual would typically burn 365 calories per hour on the elliptical, compared to 314 calories while walking, and would also generate a force equal to 75 percent of the user's body weight on his or her knees and hips, compared to a force of 110 percent from walking. (A stair-stepping machine, by comparison, would burn 657 calories per hour.) In general, ellipticals help strengthen the user’s hip joints, lower back and midsection, while walking provides a better workout for the hamstrings, calves and ankles.