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How Many Steps Are in a Mile?

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Steps Are in a Mile

The average person takes between 2,000 and 2,500 walking steps per mile as counted by a fitness band, or phone motion sensor. Running steps have a longer stride length, which means you may take between 1,000 and 2,000 steps per mile.

A total of 10,000 steps equals 4 to 5 miles. The number of steps per mile varies from person to person and depends on your stride length. Knowing how many steps are typical for a mile, you can begin to envision how far you need to walk to log 10,000 steps per day at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

It also works in reverse. The miles might not seem so long if you realize how many you manage to log during your daily activities. Keep moving and you will make it to your daily goal.

Walking and Running

For a quick rule of thumb, an older research study found these average steps per mile at walking and running speeds:2

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  • Walking 20 minutes per mile (3 miles per hour): 2,252 steps per mile
  • Walking 15 minutes per mile (4 miles per hour): 1,935 steps per mile
  • Running 12 minutes per mile (5 miles per hour): 1,951 steps per mile
  • Running 10 minutes per mile (6 miles per hour): 1,672 steps per mile
  • Running 8 minutes per mile (7.5 miles per hour): 1,400 steps per mile

This is the maximum distance you might achieve with different step totals using these averages. Remember that this will change based on how long your steps are.

Steps Walk
(Shorter Stride)
Brisk Walk/Jog
(Moderate Stride)
Run
(Long Stride)
Fast Run
(Very Long Stride)
1,000 0.4 miles 0.5 miles 0.6 miles 0.7 miles
2,000 0.9 1.0 1.2 1.4
3,000 1.3 1.5 1.8 2.1
4,000 1.8 2.1 2.4 2.9
5,000 2.2 2.6 2.9 3.6
6,000 2.7 3.1 3.5 4.3
7,000 3.1 3.6 4.1 5.0
8,000 3.6 4.1 4.7 5.7
9,000 4.0 4.6 5.3 6.4
10,000 4.4 5.1 5.9 7.1
12,000 5.3 6.2 7.1 8.6
15,000 6.7 7.7 8.8 10.7
20,000 8.9 10.3 11.8 14.3
25,000 11.1 12.8 14.7 17.9
30,000 13.3 15.4 17.6 21.4
40,000 17.8 20.5 23.5 28.6

Estimations by Height

Many fitness trackers use estimates based on height and ask for your height during setup. Rough estimates of steps per mile based on a stride-to-height ratio are:3

Height Steps per Mile
4 feet 10 inches 2,601 steps
4 feet 11 inches 2,557 steps
5 feet even 2,514 steps
5 feet 1 inch 2,473 steps
5 feet 2 inches 2,433 steps
5 feet 3 inches 2,395 steps
5 feet 4 inches 2,357 steps
5 feet 5 inches 2,321 steps
5 feet 6 inches 2,286 steps
5 feet 7 inches 2,252 steps
5 feet 8 inches 2,218 steps
5 feet 9 inches 2,186 steps
5 feet 10 inches 2,155 steps
5 feet 11 inches 2,125 steps
6 feet even 2,095 steps
6 feet 1 inch 2,067 steps
6 feet 2 inches 2,039 steps
6 feet 3 inches 2,011 steps
6 feet 4 inches 1,985 steps

Measuring Your Steps

Your steps can be mentally tallied or you can use a step-counting fitness tracker or the step-counting feature on your phone. To get your average steps per mile, it is recommended to count your steps multiple times over a predetermined distance and average the results.

Running Track

To find a measured mile, you can use a regulation quarter-mile track at a local school. You may have to ask the coach to ensure it is a quarter-mile track (1,320 feet) rather than a 400-meter track (1,308 feet). Walk in the inside lane only. Count your steps at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

It’s best to go around four times to get a full mile on a quarter-mile track, so you won’t need to do any math. For a 400-meter track, go around four times and multiply your steps by 1.009 at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

Use a Football Field

A football field is 300 feet from the goal line to opposite goal line. Count your steps as you walk or run at your usual pace from the goal line to the goal line. Multiply your steps by 17.6 to get your steps per mile at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers, such as Fitbits or sports watches, will do the counting for you and can be a convenient way to track steps and a variety of other data, such as heart rate or stress scores, just by wearing it on your wrist. However, wearable devices tend to be an investment and reliable options can cost about $100 to $300 or more depending on the style and features included in it.

Apps

You can use a mobile app such as MapMyWalk that will count your steps and measure a mile with your phone’s GPS at the same time. However, the mile distance can be off by 10% using GPS.

GPS signals travel between your phone and multiple satellites in orbit. They can get confused by buildings, trees, and hillsides, resulting in less accurate distance measurement. For better accuracy, choose a place to walk in an open area with a clear view of the sky and no twists or turns.

Measured Mile

Another method is to use an online mapping site to map a mile course in your local area, then walk it with a fitness tracker. For the best accuracy, choose a straight path without turns and curves at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

Stride Length

An average stride length that you will see listed in many places is 2.2 feet (0.67 meters) for women and 2.5 feet (0.762 meters) for men, but it depends very much on height. Measuring your stride length will give you a much more accurate number of steps per mile.

Your stride length is the distance from the heel print of one foot to the heel print of the other foot. This is the distance traveled forward by a single leg.

Your stride length varies depending on whether you are walking or running and whether you are on hills or rough trails or crossing streets with starts and stops. To measure your stride length, you can use various methods such as walking a football field (300 feet) and stride length equations at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

Stride Length Equations

Here is how to calculate your stride length:

  • 300 divided by step count = stride length in feet
  • 3,600 divided by step count = stride length in inches

If you know your stride length, your steps per mile will be:

  • 5,280 divided by your stride length in feet.
  • 63,360 divided by your stride length in inches.

Device Correction

If you find that your fitness tracker tells you that you have gone farther than a mile in a measured mile, then increase the stride length programmed in the tracker. If it tells you that you have gone less than a mile in a measured mile, reduce your stride length programmed into the tracker.

Fitness trackers you wear on your wrist may be counting arm motion rather than steps. Read the instructions to see how to set its sensitivity so it isn’t over-counting steps.

Research also shows that a fitness tracker on your non-dominate wrist is better for accuracy.4

Bassett DR Jr, Toth LP, LaMunion SR, Crouter SE. Step Counting: A Review of Measurement Considerations and Health-Related Applications. Sports Med. 2017;47(7):1303-1315. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0663-1

 For example, if you are right-handed, wear it on your left wrist at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

Your steps per mile will be inaccurate when wearing a wrist-based fitness tracker if you don’t use arm motion, such as when holding onto the handrails of a treadmill or pushing a baby stroller. They may also be inaccurate when using trekking poles and not moving them every step at How Many Steps Are in a Mile?.

How many steps or strides it will take to walk a mile depends significantly on your individual step or stride length. This varies from person to person and can be influenced by your height, age, and fitness level.5 Use a fitness tracker to help you determine your steps per mile, along with the calculations for determining your personal step rate above.

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