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How many steps in a mile? Here’s a breakdown

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If you’re looking to increase the amount of steps you take every day, then you may be wondering: “How many steps in a mile?”

The general recommendation is to walk or run 10,000 steps a day, however we all know this isn’t always feasible with work and family commitments.

10,000 steps equates to roughly 4 to 5 miles.

If you don’t have the time to work 4 to 5 miles each day, then walking or running a mile a day is still seen as a great way to get active.

It’s a compact enough distance to fit into your morning or during your lunch break.

So how many steps are there in a mile? What factors influence how many steps you are able to walk in a mile? And how do you measure your steps?

In this guide we’ll look at:

  • How many steps in a mile?
  • Number of steps taken based on height
  • How to calculate your step length
  • How many steps do you need to walk a day?
  • How many steps does it take to walk and run a mile?
  • How to measure your steps
  • Tips to walk more each day

Ready?

Let’s get going!

how many steps in a mile

How many steps in a mile?

There are roughly 2,000 to 2,500 steps in a mile. 

According to a 2008 study, the average number of steps required to run/walk a mile ranged from 1,064 steps for a pace of 6 minutes per mile in men to 2,310 steps for a walk of 20 minutes per mile in women. 

Adding that on average individuals took more steps while running a 12-minute mile than while walking a 15-minute mile (1,951 steps vs 1,935 steps, respectively). 

The amount of steps you are able to walk (or run) in a mile will depend on a variety of factors, such as your age, gender, height, pace and fitness levels.

But more importantly it will depend on your stride and step length.

Your stride length is the distance covered when you take two steps forward, one with each foot.

Whereas your step length is the distance covered when you take one step forward. 

Running steps have a shorter stride length. 

So if it takes you 2,000 steps to walk a mile, it will take you roughly 1,000 steps to run a mile. 

Related: How to walk 5000 steps a day: 5 tips for success

how many steps in a mile

Number of steps taken based on height

As I explained earlier, factors like your height will determine the number of steps you are able to take when you walk a mile. 

Here are some rough estimates based on your height:

Height (feet/inches)Height (cm)Number of steps in a mile
5 feet 0 inches152 cm2,514 steps
5 feet 1 inch154 cm2,473 steps
5 feet 2 inches157 cm2,433 steps
5 feet 3 inches160 cm2,395 steps
5 feet 4 inches162 cm2,357 steps
5 feet 5 inches165 cm2,321 steps
5 feet 6 inches167 cm2,286 steps 
5 feet 7 inches170 cm2,252 steps
5 feet 8 inches172 cm2,218 steps
5 feet 9 inches175 cm2,186 steps
5 feet 10 inches177 cm2,155 steps
5 feet 11 inches180 cm2,125 steps
6 feet 0 inches182 cm2,095 steps

Related: Heart rate when running: The complete guide

How to calculate your step length

According to the University of Iowa, the average walking step length is 2.5 feet (30 inches), so the average stride length would be roughly 5 feet (60 inches).

There are 5,280 feet in a mile. 

Therefore to determine the number of steps it will take you to walk a mile, divide 5,280 by your step length. 

Here’s how:

  1. Using a tape measure and some chalk, measure and mark off 20 foot distance. 
  2. Start walking about 10 feet before one of the marks to get up to your natural walking speed. 
  3. When you hit the first mark, start counting your steps, stopping your count when you hit the second mark. 
  4. Divide the number of feet in your measured distance by the number of steps you took from the first mark to the second. For example, if it took you 16 steps to walk 20 feet, your step length would be 1.25 feet (15 inches). 

Related: Walking 5 miles a day: Benefits + tips to start

how many steps in a mile

How many steps do you need to walk a day?

According to the CDC, it is recommended that most adults aim for 10,000 steps a day.

This equates to roughly 5 miles / 8 kilometres depending on your walking speed.

If you’re worried about the number of steps you are taking each day, doctors generally recommend you walk at least 5,000 steps a day.

Anything less than this is considered sedentary which can have an impact on your health.

Related: Walking 4 miles a day: Is it good for weight loss?

How many steps does it take to walk and run a mile?

Here’s how far you can expect to walk or run based on the number of steps you take and your walking/running speed.

Number of stepsWalk Brisk walkRunFast run
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

Related: Walking 10 miles a day: Is it good for weight loss?

how many steps in a mile

How to measure your steps

The best way to measure the amount of steps you are walking or running is to use a pedometer. 

Most fitness trackers and smartphones offer a step-counting function nowadays to enable you to do this.

Apps like MapMyWalk also count your steps and measure a mile with your phone’s GPS signal at the same time. 

However, this is always 100% accurate so you may have to repeat it a few times to get an accurate result. 

Related: Walking 3 miles a day: 5 surprising benefits

how many steps in a mile

Tips to walk more each day

Here are some tips for increasing your daily step count.

#1 Block out time in your diary

Setting aside time each day to go for a walk helps you to create a habit.

Walking is all about consistency to really see health benefits.

A walk before you start work, for example, is a great way to start your day and leave you feel energised. 

Morning walks also help to reset your circadian rhythm which in turn helps to improve your sleep. 

A walk in the morning also reduces the amount of time sitting which can prevent all the health risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle. 

#2 Start a step challenge

Step challenges between family members, friends and even colleagues are a great incentive to be more active. 

So if you’ve got a competitive streak in you, this could be the perfect opportunity to show everyone what you’re made of. 

If you’ve got kids, why not make your walk into a family activity?

#3 Track your progress

Tracking your steps over time is a great way to motivate yourself to walk every day and see how far you’ve come. 

You can download apps like Strava and MapMyWalk  that track your steps.

Most smartphones also come with step metres built into them – so it’s never been easier to track your daily step count!

#4 Walk instead of drive

Walking instead of driving is an environmentally friendly and healthy way of getting around.

If you have amenities close by, then walking to your local store or cafe is a great alternative to help you up your step game. 

#5 Go litter picking

Why not do some good on your walk?

Litter picking is a great way to give back to your local community whilst getting your steps in.

Some local communities even have litter picking groups, so you could make some new friends in the process.

#6 Become a dog walker

If you have some spare time, why not volunteer to walk a neighbour’s dog?

Websites like Borrow My Doggy are designed to match dog owners with dog walkers in their local area.

So next time you head out for your stroll, you could be accompanied by a furry friend.

#7 Become a rambler

Rambling opens up a world of walking opportunities – whether you’re a solitary stroller or a hardcore hiker. 

There are plenty of rambling and hiking groups across the UK and US – it’s all about finding a group that meets your needs.

Related: The best training shoes for your next workout

Caroline Geoghegan
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