How Many Steps Are In a Mile?

Article Category: Units  |   

When calculating how many steps make up a mile, it is important to give consideration to your stride length. As an example, the stride of a 7ft tall runner will be longer than that of a 4ft person enjoying a casual walk. And, therefore, the number of steps in a mile will vary. That said, for an average person, 1 mile equates to about 2000 steps.

For an average person:

  • 1 mile = 2,000 steps
  • 1 km = 1,250 steps
  • 10,000 steps = 5 miles

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

If you want the figure for one kilometer (or kilometre with British spelling) then you're looking at about 1,250 walking/jogging steps.

If you would like to calculate a more accurate answer for your own stride length then read on...

Runners checking their devices for steps and calories

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).

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. 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.

Getting active with walking and running

Before we continue, it's worth considering the possible reasons why you might be reading this article. Perhaps you're an avid runner and are wondering how many steps it takes you to jog or run a mile. Or maybe you're just interested in your daily walking habits and have become the proud owner of a new pedometer, Fitbit or Apple Watch.

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 go on to mention that a person aged 45 and weighing 70kg (about 11 stone) can burn about 400kcal by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3 - 5mph).

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

Step guidelines - a study

In a study published in 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 20 and 15-minute paces and compare them to those running one mile at 12, 10, 8 and 6-minute paces.

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 running (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 most 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.

How to calculate steps in a mile for your 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. 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.

Alastair Hazell

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Last update: 15 May 2019

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