Data Max


How Many Steps are in a Mile

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

The number of steps in a mile varies based on factors such as height and stride length. On average, the number of steps per mile ranges from 2,000 to 2,500 for walking and 1,000 to 2,000 for running. Measuring your stride length and using device corrections can help ensure accurate step counts. Whether you're using a fitness tracker or counting steps manually, tracking your steps can be a helpful tool for reaching your fitness goals and living a more active lifestyle.

The number of steps you take per mile can vary based on whether you are walking or running. On average, a person takes between 2,000 and 2,500 steps per mile while walking, whereas running steps have a longer stride length, which means you may take between 1,000 and 2,000 steps per mile.

If you're aiming for 10,000 steps per day, this equates to 4 to 5 miles in total. However, the number of steps per mile depends on several factors, such as your stride length, height, and other personal factors.

Knowing how many steps are typical for a mile can help you better understand how far you need to walk to achieve your daily step count goal. In addition, it's worth remembering that the reverse is also true - the distance you walk or run during your daily activities might be more significant than you realize.

Walking and Running Rules of Thumb

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

Here's a table that shows how far you might go using various step totals based on the average steps per mile for walking, brisk walking/jogging, running, and fast running:

StepsWalk (Shorter Stride)Brisk Walk/Jog (Moderate Stride)Run (Long Stride)Fast Run (Very Long Stride)
1,0000.4 miles0.5 miles0.6 miles0.7 miles
2,0000.9 miles1.0 miles1.2 miles1.4 miles
3,0001.3 miles1.5 miles1.8 miles2.1 miles
4,0001.8 miles2.1 miles2.4 miles2.9 miles
5,0002.2 miles2.6 miles2.9 miles3.6 miles
6,0002.7 miles3.1 miles3.5 miles4.3 miles
7,0003.1 miles3.6 miles4.1 miles5.0 miles
8,0003.6 miles4.1 miles4.7 miles5.7 miles
9,0004.0 miles4.6 miles5.3 miles6.4 miles
10,0004.4 miles5.1 miles5.9 miles7.1 miles
12,0005.3 miles6.2 miles7.1 miles8.6 miles
15,0006.7 miles7.7 miles8.8 miles10.7 miles
20,0008.9 miles10.3 miles11.8 miles14.3 miles
25,00011.1 miles12.8 miles14.7 miles17.9 miles
30,00013.3 miles15.4 miles17.6 miles21.4 miles
40,00017.8 miles20.5 miles23.5 miles28.6 miles

It's worth noting that these distances are only estimates and may vary depending on your stride length. However, they can help set and track your fitness goals.

Steps Per Mile Based on Height

Here's a table showing rough estimates of steps per mile based on a stride-to-height ratio for individuals of different heights:

HeightSteps per Mile
4 feet 10 inches2,601 steps
4 feet 11 inches2,557 steps
5 feet even2,514 steps
5 feet 1 inch2,473 steps
5 feet 2 inches2,433 steps
5 feet 3 inches2,395 steps
5 feet 4 inches2,357 steps
5 feet 5 inches2,321 steps
5 feet 6 inches2,286 steps
5 feet 7 inches2,252 steps
5 feet 8 inches2,218 steps
5 feet 9 inches2,186 steps
5 feet 10 inches2,155 steps
5 feet 11 inches2,125 steps
6 feet even2,095 steps
6 feet 1 inch2,067 steps
6 feet 2 inches2,039 steps
6 feet 3 inches2,011 steps
6 feet 4 inches1,985 steps

Many fitness trackers ask for your height during setup and use a similar stride-to-height ratio to estimate the number of steps you take per mile. However, these estimates are only rough and can vary depending on individual factors such as stride length, fitness level, and terrain. It's important to use these estimates as a guide rather than a definitive measurement of your physical activity.

Calibrating Your Device or Fitness Tracker

You may need to make device corrections to ensure your fitness tracker accurately measures your steps. If your tracker is measuring more than a mile in a measured mile, try increasing the stride length programmed in the tracker. If it is measuring less than a mile, try reducing the stride length programmed into the tracker.

If you wear a fitness tracker on your wrist, it may count arm motion instead of steps. Check the instructions to see how to set its sensitivity so that it isn't over-counting steps.

Studies have shown that wearing a fitness tracker on your non-dominant wrist may improve accuracy. For example, wear it on your left wrist if you are right-handed.

Remember that your steps per mile may be inaccurate 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.

Making device corrections and correctly using your fitness tracker can help you get accurate readings and meet your fitness goals.

Measuring Your Steps

There are several ways to measure your steps and find your average steps per mile:

  1. Track: Use a regulation quarter-mile track at a local school to find a measured mile. Walk in the inside lane only and count your steps. Going around the track four times will give you a full mile. For a 400-meter track, go around four times and multiply your steps by 1.009.
  2. 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.
  3. App: 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, GPS signals 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.
  4. Measured Mile: 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.

Regardless of the method you choose, counting your steps several times for a known distance and taking the average will give you a more accurate estimate of your steps per mile. This information can be helpful in tracking your physical activity and setting fitness goals.

Stride Length

Your stride length is an important factor in determining your steps per mile. While the average stride length for women is 2.2 feet (0.67 meters) and for men is 2.5 feet (0.762 meters), it varies greatly depending on your height.

To measure your stride length, you need to determine the distance traveled forward by a single leg. This distance is the distance from the heel print of one foot to the heel print of the other foot. Keep in mind that your stride length may differ depending on whether you are walking or running, and whether you are on hills, rough trails, or crossing streets with starts and stops.

There are several methods to measure your stride length, including walking a football field (300 feet) and using stride length equations. Here are two equations that can help you calculate your stride length:

  • To find your stride length in feet: divide 300 by your step count.
  • To find your stride length in inches: divide 3,600 by your step count.

Once you know your stride length, you can use the following equations to calculate your steps per mile:

  • To find your steps per mile in feet: divide 5,280 by your stride length in feet.
  • To find your steps per mile in inches: divide 63,360 by your stride length in inches.

Knowing your stride length and steps per mile can help you track your physical activity more accurately and set realistic fitness goals.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how many steps are in a mile can be a helpful tool for tracking your physical activity and setting fitness goals. However, it's important to keep in mind that the number of steps per mile varies from person to person based on factors such as height and stride length. Measuring your stride length and using the appropriate device corrections can help ensure that your step count is accurate.

Whether you are walking, jogging, or running, tracking your steps can help you stay motivated and reach your fitness goals. With the help of technology such as fitness trackers and mobile apps, it's easier than ever to track your steps and stay on top of your physical activity. By taking the time to measure your steps and stride length, you can make sure that you are getting accurate readings and working towards a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Wynne Lee, MD

Dr. Wynne Lee is a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where she provides primary care.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top