In recent times with the rise in popularity of fitness and step-counting devices, many people have become obsessed with their daily steps. However, not all steps are created equal.
The length of your step can vary depending on your speed and stride length. The number of steps in a mile can vary between 1000 and 2500 depending on these factors.
In this guide, we will break everything down so you can determine how many steps are in a mile for you and reach your goals.
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Diffrence Between Walking and Running
The first factor you have to consider is whether you are walking or running. It is impossible to measure exactly unless you collect some data yourself but here are some averages from the ACSM for average steps in mile dependent on the speed. These were determined using the average height of a male and female.
- 2 mph – 2,866 steps/mile
- 2.5 mph – 2,482 steps/mile
- 3 mph – 2,226 steps/mile
- 3.5 mph – 2,043 steps/mile
- 4 mph – 1,906 steps/mile
- 4.5 mph – 1,799 steps/mile
- 2 mph – 2,966 steps/mile
- 2.5 mph – 2,582 steps/mile
- 3 mph – 2,326 steps/mile
- 3.5 mph – 2,143 steps/mile
- 4 mph – 2,006 steps/mile
- 4.5 mph – 1,900 steps/mile
As you can see, the faster you go, the fewer steps you take. This is because you are generating more force with each step, so your body travels a greater distance. For context, most people have a walking speed of around 3 MPH.
Also, there is variation among genders as well. Since females tend to be shorter than males on average, they have a shorter stride on average as well.
How Can I Measure How Many Steps Are In A Mile For Me?
Thankfully with modern technology, there are a number of ways you can measure the number of steps in a mile:
Use A Tracker
A tracker does not have to be a dedicated step counter or smart device. While devices like the FitBit or Apple Watch work great, most phones have built-in step tracking.
For the iPhone, all you have to do is check in the health app and make sure your phone is on your body for the duration of the walk or run. All you have to do is pick a starting point and see how many miles you have currently walked and take note of that number.
Walk exactly one mile and then subtract the difference in steps to get your step/mile number.
It is worth noting that these trackers are not 100% accurate but they are close enough to get a good idea.
Count Them Yourself
This can be a bit cumbersome but is definitely doable. All you need is a walking distance that is exactly a mile. This can be a track or marked road.
Simply count the number of steps you take in the duration of that mile.
Estimate The Using Your Step Length
The average step length is between 2.2 and 2.5 feet (26-30 inches). You probably fall somewhere in this range but you should measure your step length to be sure.
There is a key difference between stride length and step length.
Your stride is the distance you cover when you take two steps while your step is the distance between the heel of one foot to another during a step. For the purposes of this estimation, we will be using your step length.
The easiest way to do this is to just take normal steps and measure the distance yourself. For a more accurate measurement, get someone else to help you. Maybe take a few steps and measurements so that you have a good average to go off of.
alternatively, you could measure a set distance like 10 yards or 10 feet, and see how many steps it takes you to get to the end. From there just divide the distance by your step count and you have your step/distance value.
Step Per Mile By Step Length
- 22 inches – 2,880 steps/mile
- 24 inches – 2,640 steps/mile
- 26 inches – 2,436 steps/mile
- 28 inches – 2,263 steps/mile
- 30 inches – 2,112 steps/mile
- 32 inches – 1,980 steps/mile
- 34 inches – 1,864 steps/mile
- 36 inches – 1,760 steps/mile
Estimate Using Your Height
This is perhaps the most inaccurate measurement since even with the same height, limbs can vary in size. However, it should still give you a useful estimate:
- 4’10” – 2,601 steps/mile
- 5’0″ – 2,514 steps/mile
- 5’2″ – 2,433 steps/mile
- 5’3″ – 2,395 steps/mile
- 5’4″ – 2,357 steps/mile
- 5’5″ – 2,321 steps/mile
- 5’6″ – 2,286 steps/mile
- 5’7″ – 2,252 steps/mile
- 5’8″ – 2,218 steps/mile
- 5’9″ – 2,186 steps/mile
- 5’10” – 2,155 steps/mile
- 5’11” – 2,125 steps/mile
- 6’0″ – 2,095 steps/mile
- 6’2″ – 2,039 steps/mile
- 6’4″ – 1,985 steps/mile
- 6’6″ – 1,934 steps/mile
How Many Steps Should I Take In A Day?
Based on current averages, most human adults take anywhere between 4000 and 18,000 steps in one day. Most adults can shoot for 10,000 steps/day as a goal for positive health outcomes.
If you are looking for a good benchmark to compare yourself, here are the standards:
Inactive/Sedentary: Less than 5,000 steps per day. These are people who usually work office jobs and do not exercise.
Average: Between 7,500-10,000 steps a day. This is a decent level of physical activity but for the best benefits, there is room to be more active.
Active/Fit: 12,500 steps and beyond. These individuals either work very active jobs or are committed to consistent exercise.
Why Should I Care About My Step Count?
I do think that you have to be obsessed with your step count since there are so many ways to get physical activity incorporated into your day.
However, I will say that walking is the easiest way to stay consistent and reap the health benefits of proper cardiovascular health.
There are a number of benefits you will reap if you consistently get your steps in, including improvements in mental health and overall well-being.
Just to say, step count has been positively correlated with overall life expectancy in several studies.
How Can I Get More Steps In Daily?
10,000 steps may sound like a lot but there are tons lots of small things you can do every day to get a few more steps in here and there.
Take a walk: Going for a walk is a great way to get more steps in and get some fresh air. You can walk around your neighborhood, in a park, or on a trail.
Use the stairs: Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, opt for the stairs whenever possible. This is a simple way to get more steps in and also get a bit of low-impact exercise.
Walk while you work: If you work at a desk, consider setting up a standing or treadmill desk. This will allow you to walk while you work, which can help you get more steps in throughout the day.
Take a short walk after every meal: I find that this helps digestion and only a few minutes is enough to reap the benefits.
How To Find The Right Daily Step Goal For Myself?
The right daily step goal for you will depend on your age, weight, and overall health. Here are some general guidelines for determining a daily step goal:
Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day: This is a good starting point for most people, as it is the equivalent of about 5 miles of walking.
Adjust based on your age and weight: If you are younger or have a higher weight, you may need to aim for more steps to get the same health benefits as someone who is older or has a lower weight.
Consider your overall health: If you have any health conditions that make it difficult to walk, such as arthritis or chronic pain, you may need to adjust your step goal accordingly.
Also, I would discuss your fitness plans with trainers or doctors. They may provide useful guidance or inform you of other ways you can stay active.
Does It Matter If I Use A Treadmill Or Walk Outside?
Walking outside and using a treadmill both have their own set of benefits. Here are some differences between the two:
Surface: When walking outside, you are walking on natural surfaces such as grass, dirt, and pavement. These surfaces may be uneven, which can help improve balance and stability. On a treadmill, you are walking on a smooth, even surface.
Impact: Walking on a treadmill can be less impactful on your joints compared to walking on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. This can make it a good option for people with joint problems or those looking to reduce their risk of injury.
Environment: Walking outside allows you to experience different environments, such as parks, trails, and neighborhoods. This can help keep your workouts interesting and provide a change of scenery. On a treadmill, you are limited to the environment of your home or gym.
Weather: Walking outside can be weather dependent, which may make it less convenient on days with extreme temperatures or precipitation. A treadmill allows you to walk regardless of the weather.
Socialization: Walking outside can provide an opportunity for socialization, as you can walk with friends or meet new people on a trail or in your neighborhood. Walking on a treadmill is typically a solo activity.
Both walking outside and using a treadmill can provide health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, strengthening bones, and reducing stress. It’s important to choose the option that works best for you based on your preferences and needs.
Is My Fitness Tracker Accurate?
Fitness trackers are devices that are worn on the body and track various aspects of physical activity, including step count. While they can be a useful tools for tracking and improving physical activity, it’s important to note that their accuracy can vary.
There are a few factors that can affect the accuracy of fitness trackers:
Placement: The location of the tracker on the body can affect its accuracy. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement.
Stride length: The length of your stride can affect the accuracy of the step count. Some fitness trackers allow you to calibrate the device by inputting your stride length, which can improve accuracy.
Motion: Fitness trackers may not accurately track steps if the wearer is engaged in activities that involve unusual or inconsistent motion, such as cycling or swimming.
Wear and tear: Over time, the device may become less accurate due to wear and tear.
Overall, fitness trackers can be a useful tool for tracking physical activity, but it’s important to be aware of their limitations. If you are using a fitness tracker to track your steps, it’s a good idea to periodically check the accuracy of the device to make sure it is still providing accurate information.
In conclusion, it’s important to make an effort to get in daily steps to improve overall health and well-being. The average number of steps in a mile can vary based on factors such as walking speed, stride length, and terrain, but general guidelines can help you determine a daily step goal that is appropriate for your needs. Walking is a simple and accessible form of exercise that has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, strengthening bones, and reducing stress. By incorporating more steps into your daily routine, you can improve your physical and mental health and live a healthier lifestyle.
How many miles are 10,000 steps?
10,000 steps are roughly equivalent to 5 miles, depending on factors such as your stride length and walking speed.