During a recent subway strike in London, a private online health care provider in the UK called Treated.com expanded the London subway map to give “tube” riders healthier alternatives to get to work by using more “physical” means. The updated map revealed how many calories could be burned if riders either walked, jogged or even cycled between stations.
The results in London were so successful that the website says it began to get requests for similar studies in other cities worldwide. Citing similar levels of obesity in the US, and more specifically in New York, it decided NYC was the next logical location to study.
A 2011 report from the New York State Department of Health found that 36 percent of New Yorkers were overweight. Another 25 percent were classified as overweight to the point of being obese. The Centers for Disease control estimated 69 percent of all Americans were either overweight or obese.
To calculate the caloric burns New Yorkers could expect by ditching the subway, Treated.com based its estimates on a person of average weight — currently 179 pounds in the US — walking 3 miles per hour, jogging 6 miles per hour, and cycling approximately 10-12 miles per hour.
On average, the walking time between stops in Midtown Manhattan was 10 minutes, or nearly 45 calories. While this doesn’t sound like a lot, done twice a day for five days and you’re looking at a beefier 450 calorie burn at the end of the week.
Jogging between stops will burn an estimated 82 calories one way, while cycling can burn about 32 calories one way. Over the course of five days, that adds up to a staggering 820 and 320 calories burned off, respectively, with a 20 minute adjustment to your daily commute.
Compare those numbers to the ones found in popular snacks like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that average around 230-300 calories per package, and chips like Doritos average 150 calories for a “snack pack.”
Finding time to exercise in a busy city like New York is a challenge, says Treated.com, but small steps add up over time. “Getting off the subway a stop or two earlier than usual can therefore provide an economic and convenient way to burn off a few extra calories,” it added.
Click here to view Treated.com’s updated NYC subway map.