A fitness tracker is an easy way to check how many steps you’ve walked in a day. But how do you convert from step count into miles? How many steps in a mile for the average person?
The average person takes between 2000 to 2400 steps in a mile walking. With running, the stride length is longer, and the average number of steps a runner takes is between 1000 to 1900 steps in a mile running.
If you’re hitting 10,000 steps a day, that’s a distance of 4-5 miles for walkers. A more accurate answer depends on your height, gender, average stride length, and whether you’re walking or running.
Daily step goals are a great way to improve your fitness level and physical activity. Walking and running come with so many health benefits – you’re improving your cardiovascular health, managing your weight, reducing your risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and so much more. Knowing how many steps in a mile can help you set goals and track your progress.
This post looks at:
- How many steps in a mile?
- Stride length vs step length
- Steps in a mile walking based on gender, height, and walking speed.
- Steps in a mile running based on height and running speed.
- How to find your average step length or stride length.
- How many calories will you burn in a mile?
- How many steps should you walk a day?
Let’s get started!
How Many Steps In A Mile?
This would be easy to answer if everyone had the same step length. In reality, everyone has their own step length. It differs based on:
- Height – if you’re taller you’ll probably have a longer stride length.
- Gender – your sex will make a difference. Men and women have different biomechanics and this affects your gait. Men tend to take longer strides.
- Speed – a person’s running or walking speed also affects their stride length and the number of steps they take in a mile. Increase your speed and you’ll take fewer steps.
- It also makes a difference if you’re running or walking because it changes your gait.
Stride Length vs Step Length
I always find this a bit confusing. Are stride length and step length the same thing? It doesn’t help that a lot of people mix these up!
Stride length is the distance between two successive steps, one with each foot. Step length is the distance only one foot travels. This means your stride length is twice your step length.
But just to make things more confusing, pedometers such as your fitness band, will use the term “stride length” when it’s step length that’s measured.
How Many Steps In A Mile – Based On Research
This research study in the ACSM’s Health And Fitness Journal looked at the number of steps taken over a mile by a group of walkers and runners at different speeds.
They found that pace made a huge difference to the step count. Walking or running also affected the results. A slow runner at a 12-minute mile pace took more steps to complete a mile than a fast walker at a 15-minute mile pace!
In some ways it makes sense. Running slowly there’s a lot of up and down motion and the stride length is shorter.
The research produced a table you can use to estimate your steps per mile based on your gender, height, and pace. For convenience I’ve reproduced the results below and but you can find the original table here.
Unless your fitness tracker has a GPS, it will use a pedometer to estimate the distance based on similar research. That’s why you’re asked to enter details such as height and gender during setup. The tracker uses these values for its estimates. You can compare your tracker results using the values in the following tables:
How Many Steps In A Mile Walking For Women
|Height||20 mins/mile||18 mins/mile||16 mins/mile||14 mins/mile|
|5 ft 0 inches||2371||2244||2117||1991|
|5 ft 1 inches||2357||2230||2103||1977|
|5 ft 2 inches||2343||2216||2089||1962|
|5 ft 3 inches||2329||2202||2075||1948|
|5 ft 4 inches||2315||2188||2061||1934|
|5 ft 5 inches||2301||2174||2047||1920|
|5 ft 6 inches||2286||2160||2033||1906|
|5 ft 7 inches||2272||2146||2019||1892|
|5 ft 8 inches||2258||2131||2005||1878|
|5 ft 9 inches||2244||2117||1991||1864|
|5 ft 10 inches||2230||2103||1976||1850|
|5 ft 11 inches||2216||2089||1962||1836|
|6 ft 0 inches||2202||2075||1948||1821|
There are some small differences between men and women of the same height. For example, a woman 5 ft 6 inches in height takes 2033 steps to walk one mile at 16 mins/mile pace but a man of the same height takes 33 steps less.
The study group was small, with just 44 walkers and 34 runners, so the difference between genders of one to two percent may be insignificant.
How Many Steps In A Mile Walking For Men
|Height||20 mins/mile||18 mins/mile||16 mins/mile||14 mins/mile|
|5 ft 4 inches||2282||2155||2028||1901|
|5 ft 5 inches||2268||2141||2014||1887|
|5 ft 6 inches||2253||2127||2000||1873|
|5 ft 7 inches||2239||2113||1986||1859|
|5 ft 8 inches||2225||2098||1972||1845|
|5 ft 9 inches||2211||2084||1958||1831|
|5 ft 10 inches||2197||2070||1943||1817|
|5 ft 11 inches||2183||2056||1929||1803|
|6 ft 0 inches||2169||2042||1915||1788|
|6 ft 1 inches||2155||2028||1901||1774|
|6 ft 2 inches||2141||2014||1887||1760|
|6 ft 3 inches||2127||2000||1873||1746|
|6 ft 4 inches||2112||1986||1859||1732|
How Many Steps In A Mile Running
The table below covers both male and female runners.
|Height||12 mins/mile||10 mins/mile||8 mins/mile||6 mins/mile|
|5 ft 0 inches||1997||1710||1423||1136|
|5 ft 1 inches||1984||1697||1409||1122|
|5 ft 2 inches||1970||1683||1396||1109|
|5 ft 3 inches||1957||1670||1382||1095|
|5 ft 4 inches||1943||1656||1369||1082|
|5 ft 5 inches||1930||1643||1355||1068|
|5 ft 6 inches||1916||1629||1342||1055|
|5 ft 7 inches||1903||1616||1328||1041|
|5 ft 8 inches||1889||1602||1315||1028|
|5 ft 9 inches||1876||1589||1301||1014|
|5 ft 10 inches||1862||1575||1288||1001|
|5 ft 11 inches||1849||1562||1274||987|
|6 ft 0 inches||1835||1548||1261||974|
|6 ft 1 inches||1822||1535||1247||960|
|6 ft 2 inches||1808||1521||1234||947|
|6 ft 3 inches||1795||1508||1220||933|
|6 ft 4 inches||1781||1494||1207||920|
Reference: ONE-MILE STEP COUNT AT WALKING AND RUNNING SPEEDS Hoeger, Werner W.K. Ed.D., FACSM; Bond, Laura M.S.; Ransdell, Lynda Ph.D., FACSM; Shimon, Jane M. Ed.D., A.T.C.; Merugu, Sunitha B.S., P.T.
How To Find Your Average Step Length
It takes a little more effort to get an accurate measurement – you need to measure your step length. If you know the length of your step you can use it to find how many miles you’ve walked. Measuring a single step isn’t very accurate – how do you know if it’s a typical step length? Instead, it’s best to count steps over a short distance to find the average.
Find Your Step Length
- To find your step length place two markers as far apart as possible in your backyard or wherever you have space. The distance needs to be at least 20 steps.
- Measure the distance between the two markers with a tape measure. Walk or run at your normal pace between the markers counting your steps.
- Divide the distance by your step count to find your average step length.
Use An Athletics track
- To get a more accurate measurement use an athletics track.
- An athletics track is 400m in distance when you walk or run on the inside lane.
- Run or walk around the track at your usual pace. By counting exactly how many steps it takes to cover 400m you can work out your step length.
Alternatively, you can use a football field. The number of feet between the goals is typically 300 feet – but it does vary!
Use An App
It’s tempting to measure a mile using a walking or running app such as MapMyWalk or Strava. But be warned, a GPS measurement can be out by as much as 10%.
Obstacles such as buildings, mountains, or trees can affect accuracy. You’re better off using an athletics track or measuring step length in your backyard.
Calibrating your devices such as an apple watch, Fitbit or Garmin will improve the accuracy.
Steps Per Mile
Once you know your step length, use this table to find the number of steps per mile.
|Step Length (ft)||Step Length (m)||Steps Per Mile|
How Many Calories Will You Burn In A Mile?
Now that’s a tough question! Why? Because calories burned will depend on fitness level, weight, walking or running efficiency, speed, and steepness of the route.
In general, the faster you walk or run the more calories you burn. However, this has a lot to do with your fitness and current weight.
Walking at a 16 mins/mile pace becomes easier as your fitness increases. Result? You burn fewer calories!
A good rule is always to walk or run as fast as possible if you want to maximize calorie burn.
There’s a steep hill called Binsey near where I live. The family joke is it never gets any easier walking up the hill – we just walk faster!
An average guide is you burn 80 calories a mile walking and 100 calories per mile running but use this calories burned walking calculator to get a more accurate result.
How Many Steps Should You Walk A Day?
10000 steps a day or 4 to 5 miles is an excellent daily step goal and will really benefit your health. The average American only walks 3000 to 4000 steps a day so anything above this level is an improvement.
Current health guidelines include 150 minutes of moderate-intensity weekly exercise such as brisk walking. That’s less than 3000 average steps a day at 16 min/mile pace. Add this to your everyday general walking and aim for at least 6000 steps a day, 2.5 to 3 miles.
Related post: How Much Should I Walk According To My BMI?
Aim For Regular Walking
Walking and running are terrific ways to get fit and can help you lose weight provided you watch what you eat. Rather than get too hung up on how many steps you should walk a day – try and be consistent.
There isn’t a magic number. It’s better to walk 2 to 3 miles regularly than aim for too high a target and fail to keep it up. Even short walks can help with improving fitness, weight loss, and better health. Brisk walks will boost your heart rate.
Aim for an achievable number of daily steps and as you get fitter, steadily increase your distance and speed.
The health benefits of physical activity are immense. Find time to walk in the mornings or add an evening walk to your daily routine – you’ll love the results!
Frequently Asked Questions
The number of steps you take depends on your height and how fast you’re walking or running. The range can be anything from 900 to 2,400. Typical values for a woman walking are 2,300 steps and for a man 2,200 steps.
6000 steps is typically 3 miles of walking and 4 miles of running. The distance will vary from person to person depending on your speed, gender, and height.
It really depends on your height and running speed but the average number of steps a runner takes is between 1000 to 1900 steps in a mile running.
Most people take more steps walking than running. Typically 2000 steps walking per mile and 1600 steps running per mile. However, an accurate result depends on your height, speed, and stride length. Someone running very slowly may take more steps than if they walked at a brisk pace.