How to Calculate Horsepower

An automobile’s power is measured by comparing it to the power of a draft horse and there are certain steps in order to calculate horsepower. This system is not just used for machines, but for the overall determination of power output by a thing or even a person.


  • Weighing Scale
  • Tape Measure
  • Ladder
  • Calculator
  • Stopwatch

Step 1: Get Necessary Measurements

Measure your weight in kilograms and note it down. Look for a set of stairs that you can climb up. Get the height of the stair (not the distance) and note it down as well. This can be done easier by getting the height of one step and multiplying it by the number of steps.

Step 2: Run Up Stairs

Run as fast as you can up the stairs. When your foot hits the first step, start your timer simultaneously. As you reach the top of the stairs, stop the timer. You have to note that both feet should already be planted on the top step before you stop the timer.

Step 3: Calculate Power

To get the power, refer to the formula P=Mx9.80xH. M is the mass (or your weight), 9.80 is acceleration due to gravitational pull of the earth, and H is the height (in this case the height of the stair). Input the corresponding values from the measurements that you got earlier to compute for the power. The result will be defined in watts.

Step 4: Divide Power by 745

The resulting power that you got should now be divided by 745. This is a constant value that you have to divide power by in order to calculate for the horsepower.