Calc

How Many Steps Are In a Mile?

By | Last update: 22 August 2019

Research suggests that the number of walking steps in a mile for a person of average height and weight is between 2,000 and 2,500 steps. That figure decreases to between 1,400 and 1,700 steps per mile when running, due to the increase in stride length. [1]

For an average person:

  • 1 mile = 2,000 to 2,500 walking steps
  • 1 km = 1,250 to 1,550 walking steps
  • 10,000 steps = 4 to 5 miles

You can use our steps to miles calculator to work out steps per mile for your personal height and walking/running speed.


On the basis that a person of average height has a stride length of between 2.1 to 2.5 feet, we can say that approximately 2,000 - 2,500 walking/jogging steps make up a mile. This means that 10,000 steps convert to between 4 and 5 miles, with average stride length.

Those figures are, of course, average ones based upon the study participants as a whole, and there are ways of working out a more accurate figure for you, which we will go into in this article. When we calculate how many steps make up a mile, it is important to give consideration to your personal stride length. To give an example, the stride of a 7ft tall runner will be longer than that of a 4ft person of shorter stature enjoying a casual walk. And, therefore, the number of steps in a mile will vary.

Runners checking their devices for steps and calories
Step counters are proving helpful in motivating inactive people to increase their activity levels by about 2,500 steps (approx 1 mile) per day. [2]

Steps in a mile - the research

In a study published by the American College of Sports Medicine in 2007, researchers sought to find out the number of steps men and women took to walk one mile at both 20 and 15-minute pace and compare them to those running one mile at 12, 10, 8 and 6-minute pace.

So, what were the results? Well, the average number of steps required to run/walk a mile ranged from 1,064 steps for a six-minute-mile pace in men to 2,310 steps for a 20-minute-per-mile walk in women. Of note was that on average, individuals took more steps while jogging a 12-minute mile than while walking a 15-minute mile (1,951 against 1,935 steps, respectively). The researchers commented that this finding was likely related to the smaller distance between steps that people tend to take while jogging at the slower speed (12-minute miles) compared to walking at a 15-minute-per-mile pace.

Below are the resulting steps-per-mile figures for different heights for both men and women.

Steps in a mile for women (walking)
Height 20mins/mile 18mins/mile 16mins/mile 14mins/mile
5 ft 0 inches 2,371 2,244 2,117 1,991
5 ft 1 inches 2,357 2,230 2,103 1,977
5 ft 2 inches 2,343 2,216 2,089 1,962
5 ft 3 inches 2,329 2,202 2,075 1,948
5 ft 4 inches 2,315 2,188 2,061 1,934
5 ft 5 inches 2,301 2,174 2,047 1,920
5 ft 6 inches 2,286 2,160 2,033 1,906
5 ft 7 inches 2,272 2,146 2,019 1,892
5 ft 8 inches 2,258 2,131 2,005 1,878
5 ft 9 inches 2,244 2,117 1,991 1,864
5 ft 10 inches 2,230 2,103 1,976 1,850
5 ft 11 inches 2,216 2,089 1,962 1,836
6 ft 0 inches 2,202 2,075 1,948 1,821
6 ft 1 inches 2,188 2,061 1,934 1,807
6 ft 2 inches 2,174 2,047 1,920 1,793
Steps in a mile for men (walking)
Height 20mins/mile 18mins/mile 16mins/mile 14mins/mile
5 ft 4 inches 2,282 2,155 2,028 1,901
5 ft 5 inches 2,268 2,141 2,014 1,887
5 ft 6 inches 2,253 2,127 2,000 1,873
5 ft 7 inches 2,239 2,113 1,986 1,859
5 ft 8 inches 2,225 2,098 1,972 1,845
5 ft 9 inches 2,211 2,084 1,958 1,831
5 ft 10 inches 2,197 2,070 1,943 1,817
5 ft 11 inches 2,183 2,056 1,929 1,803
6 ft 0 inches 2,169 2,042 1,915 1,788
6 ft 1 inches 2,155 2,028 1,901 1,774
6 ft 2 inches 2,141 2,014 1,887 1,760
6 ft 3 inches 2,127 2,000 1,873 1,746
6 ft 4 inches 2,112 1,986 1,859 1,732

Running steps in a mile (men and women)

Height 12mins/mile 10mins/mile 8mins/mile 6mins/mile
5 ft 0 inches 1,997 1,710 1,423 1,136
5 ft 1 inches 1,984 1,697 1,409 1,122
5 ft 2 inches 1,970 1,683 1,396 1,109
5 ft 3 inches 1,957 1,670 1,382 1,095
5 ft 4 inches 1,943 1,656 1,369 1,082
5 ft 5 inches 1,930 1,643 1,355 1,068
5 ft 6 inches 1,916 1,629 1,342 1,055
5 ft 7 inches 1,903 1,616 1,328 1,041
5 ft 8 inches 1,889 1,602 1,315 1,028
5 ft 9 inches 1,876 1,589 1,301 1,014
5 ft 10 inches 1,862 1,575 1,288 1,001
5 ft 11 inches 1,849 1,562 1,274 987
6 ft 0 inches 1,835 1,548 1,261 974
6 ft 1 inches 1,822 1,535 1,247 960
6 ft 2 inches 1,808 1,521 1,234 947
6 ft 3 inches 1,795 1,508 1,220 933
6 ft 4 inches 1,781 1,494 1,207 920

It's worth noting that people who exercise at higher intensities tend to take fewer steps and cover a distance in less time. They also tend to see greater health benefits than those who exercise at lower intensities. Of course, you should always seek advice from qualified health professionals before making any major changes to your lifestyle or fitness regime.

Ad for Steps to Miles Calculator

Does age affect stride length?

There are a couple of studies of particular note relating to age and stride length. The first was published in 2000 in the Journal of Applied Physiology. In the study, Professor Paul DeVita and his colleague Tibor Hortobagyi set out to examine the joint torques and powers of young and elderly adults walking at the same speed. They discovered that the older people get, the less they use the muscles in their ankles to make each stride, and the more they use the muscles around their hips. Stride length was found to be 4% shorter in elderly adult walkers compared with young adults.

A follow-up study was carried out by Dr. DeVita in 2016 and published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. In the study, Dr. DeVita and his team looked to examine the biomechanics of a set of healthy, recreational runners between the ages of 23 and 59 years. As participants ran at their regular training pace, motion and force data were captured, and the data were then analysed and correlated with age.

Their research findings suggested that with each passing year, the stride length and speed of a runner decreases by 0.33%. This appears to indicate that by the time a 20-year-old runner reaches the age of 80, their stride length will have decreased by around 20%.

Getting active with walking and running

It seems that a study is published on almost a weekly basis advising us to get more active and the current guidance suggests that we should be walking at least 10,000 steps per day. Indeed, the NHS (UK) mentions on their website that setting yourself a target of walking 10,000 steps a day is a fun target. They suggest that a person aged 45 and weighing 70kg (about 11 stone) can burn about 400kcal by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3 - 5mph). [3]

And the intensity of the walk is the key thing here. It goes without saying that a person will expend more energy (burning more calories) walking briskly than taking a gentle stroll.

"Research shows that a total amount of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, consistently reduces the risk of many chronic diseases and other adverse health outcomes"

Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans

Calories burned per mile when walking

If you're interested in calorie figures, an average adult man (suggested to be about 200 pounds, or 91kg) will burn about 106 calories walking a mile. For an average adult woman (suggested to be about 170 pounds, or 77kg), the figure will be about 90 calories per mile.

In order to estimate how many calories you burn for each mile of walking, simply multiply your weight in pounds by 0.53 (or kg weight × 1.17).

These figures assume that you're not carrying extra weight. Walking while weighted is said to burn more calories than walking without weights, for the obvious reason that you're expending more energy to carry that extra weight. There's also a level of fitness to consider - the fitter you are, the more fuel-efficient you become. For these reasons, your average caloric expenditure per one mile of walking is likely to vary.

Calories burned per mile when running

An average adult male (suggested to be about 200 pounds, or 91kg) will burn around 150 calories per mile when running (unweighted). An average adult female (suggested to be about 170 pounds, or 77kg) might expect to burn around 128 calories.

To calculate an estimate of the number of calories that you burn when running a mile, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.75 (or kg weight × 1.65).

For more information on calories per mile, check out this article from LiveStrong. For now, let's get back to steps per mile.

How to manually calculate steps in a mile for your individual stride length

If you're after an exact answer for the number of steps in a mile or kilometer for your body then try the following (you will need a tape measure or other measuring device):

  1. Take 10 steps (making sure you either run or walk, depending on which stride you want to measure), measure the distance in feet and then divide by 10 to get your average stride length.
  2. There are 5,280 feet in a mile (1609.344 meters) . So, divide 5,280 by your stride length figure to get your number of steps in a mile. If you want the answer in kilometers, divide 3,280 by your stride length figure to get your number of steps in 1 km.

Should you need to convert between feet, inches, centimeters and meters, you can use our handy length and distance calculator.

I hope this article has assisted you in working out how active you currently are. And, just think - the next time someone tells you that you're only 1 step away from achieving something, you'll know just how far that is.


References:
  1. One-mile step count at walking and running speeds (ACSM)
  2. Step counting: a review of health-related applications (Sports Medicine)
  3. NHS walking for health


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