How Many Steps in a Mile Running or Walking?

Written by
Last Updated:

How many steps in a mile running – or walking?” is a common question – and there are several things that can influence it, such as whether you’re running or walking, your height, and even your sex.

If you’re asking this question, you’ve probably heard of some daily step goals that help fight anything from heart disease to obesity and depression.

Let’s look at how many steps there are in a mile for both running and walking and what the factors to consider are!

How Many Steps in a Mile?

The answer to this can depend on the following:

• Whether you’re running or walking, beacause your step length changes based on the activity. Your running speed also plays a big role here, as we’ll see
• Your height, or more specifically your leg length – longer legs tend to take bigger steps.
• Your step length – the bigger your strides, the less steps you need to cover a mile!
• Your sex – especially when walking, men and women’s biomechanics often affect their gait – which causes changes to your step length (in general, men stride out further).

The Rough Answer : How Many Steps In a Mile Running

There are between 900 and 2000 steps in a mile running, with the average being around 1480 steps.

Why the big range?

It all depends on your height and running speed.

High end: For example, a 5′ runner going at 12 minutes per mile is going to clock up around 2000 steps over a mile.

Low end: A 6′ runner going at 6 minutes per mile will cover around 970 steps over their mile.

Most of us are somewhere in-between!

Many people will be closer to the average: a 5′ 6″ runner going at 9 minutes per mile will cover around 1480 steps in a mile running.

Later in this article, I’ve included a table that gives step count estimates for a wide range of heights and running speed, based on a study from ASCM Health and Fitness Journal.

Feel free to jump ahead and see where you land!

The Rough Answer : How Many Steps In a Mile Walking

There are roughly between 1700 and 2400 steps in a mile walking, with the average being around 2160 steps.

The reason for the big range is down to walking speed, height, and sex – all of which affect your walking step length.

On the high end, a 5′ woman walking at a leisurely 20 minutes per mile would cover somewhere around 2370 steps in their mile.

On the low end, a 6′ man walking at a brisk 14 minutes per mile might cover around 1750 steps in a mile of walking.

Most of us are nearer the average: for example, a 5′ 6″ woman walking at a comfortable 18 minutes per mile would cover 2160 steps per mile.

To get a more accurate idea of your steps in a mile walking, scroll down and look up your height and walking pace in the table we’ve provided!

Average Figures – Steps Per Mile and Kilometer

The following table shows the average steps per mile, or per kilometer, for a range of distances.

It’s important to note that the steps count is based on the average data.

To get a better idea of your own step count per mile or per kilometer, you should refer to the more specific data in the tables which follow!

How Many Steps In A Mile Running – Based on Height

The ASCM Health and Fitness Journal did a study, gathering data on steps per mile running – the results consider both men and women:

How Many Steps In a Mile Walking – Based On Sex, Height, and Speed

The ACSM Health and Fitness Journal study broke down steps per mile for men and women, based on height and speed.

Let’s say you want to establish a daily goal of 10,000 steps. You’re wondering how far you should walk and how long it would take.

In the same study done by the ACSM Health Journal, they analyzed 44 walkers of all different fitness levels and heights. They found that walking (15-minute mile) actually used more steps than jogging (12-minute mile), since the step length decreased as people moved faster.

They also noticed a difference between genders, since more men were able to finish a 6-8 minute mile than women.

They found that a male of 5 feet 10 inches had to walk 5.1 miles to reach 10,000 steps in one day.

But they did point out that the average American accumulates 5,000-6,000 steps per day with regular activities. So that would require about 2 additional miles of walking.

The biomechanics of walking differ from men to women, hence the reason the two are split into two groups.

Note that 14 minutes per mile is quite a brisk pace, whereas 18 minutes per mile is much more leisurely and relaxed.

Here are the full results, tabulated for both men and women:

How To Calculate Your Steps Per Mile Based On Step Length

The following method can be used to accurately calculate your steps in a mile for whatever activity you’re interested in, whether it’s running, jogging, or sprinting.

The easy way to make an accurate calculation is to use a pre-defined distance, like track and field. To make it even more simple, put two markers as far apart as possible in your backyard – or anywhere you find space to make 20 or more steps.

When you lift your foot and move it forward, then land with both feet on the ground (left foot in front of the right), that is considered one step. Your step length should be defined by the distance your left foot traveled between the heel of your right foot and the heel of your left foot.

Walk between markers at your normal pace and count the steps. The difference between the distance and the number will show your personal average step length.

Keep in mind that you are counting steps, not strides.

One stride defines your step length but equals two steps.

Now that you have your step length, jump to my table below to figure how many steps in a mile running or walking you take.

You can use the same method to find your steps in slow, medium, and fast paces. It will give you a pretty decent idea about your step length for brisk walks as well as running. Don’t forget that a greater distance will provide you with a more accurate answer.

To find out how many steps are in a mile running, use this equation: There are 5,280 feet in a mile. Once you’ve calculated your step length, divide 5,280 by your average step length in feet.

Steps Per Mile Table

Once you know your average step length, plug it into this table to find the number of steps in a mile running or walking:

How Many Miles Is 3000 Steps?

Not everyone sets a 10,000 step goal for themselves.

The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity released a study saying that the average healthy person takes 4,000 – 18,000 steps every day.

It’s important to consider this when you’re setting goals for yourself. Maybe you hope to reach 10,000 steps but right now a more reasonable milestone is 3,000.

So if you’re walking, 3,000 steps is roughly 1.5 miles. If you’re running, 3,000 steps is about 2 miles.

A habit of running 2 miles a day is both achievable and a great way to get the health benefits of a daily running habit.

If your only goal is taking more steps, you’ll see that walking will get you there with less effort. But if you keep overall health in mind, you’ll note that jogging or running elevates your heart rate and burns more fat. So don’t just opt for the easier option. Consider your goals and your end game.

How Many Miles is 6000 Steps?

For your next milestone, 6,000 steps, you can reach it with around 3 miles of walking or 4 miles of running.

Remember that these numbers depend on the factors mentioned above: your height, stride length, and step length. For a more accurate gauge of how many miles in 3,000 steps, be sure to follow the calculation in the ACSM chart at the top of this article.

Does Age Affect Stride or Distance?

Several studies have shown a slight relation between age and stride length. In 2000, Professor Paul DeVita made the first tests with his colleague Tibor Hortobagyi.

They examined the joint torques and powers of young people and seniors walking at the same speed.

They discovered that with age, people tend to rely less on the muscles in their ankles and use the muscles around their hips instead, in order to make a stride.

The results showed a decrease of 4% in stride length in senior walkers compared with young adults.

A follow-up study by Dr. DeVita in 2016 took a look at the biomechanics of healthy recreational runners between 23 and 59 years of age. Their findings showed that both the stride length and speed of a runner decrease by 0.33% per year.

That means, by the time you reach the age of 80, your stride length will be around 20% shorter compared to your twenties. In short, the older you are, the more steps your mile will take.

How to Find the Right Daily Step Goal for You

While 10,000 is the general ‘gold standard,’ you will not get far if you’re only able to walk them once a week. The best number of steps for you is the one you can make daily and turn into a regular habit. Slowly increase the goal. Sooner than later, those 10,000 will sound like a joke.

Most importantly, find your own pace.

Instead of lazy strolls, take shorter, more intense walking rounds with breaks. When you walk faster, you will see more benefits from the exercise and burn more calories per mile.

The point of this kind of physical activity is to keep the body active. When you do that, you control your weight and boost your immune system. It’s a great way for people used to a sedentary life to start slowly and safely getting back in shape.

Can a One-Mile Walk Burn a Lot of Calories?

Sometimes it’s easier to walk 10,000 steps than to answer some questions.

Here’s a very average estimate: you burn 80 calories a mile walking and about 100 calories running. But, as we said before, the average is just that. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Calories burned depend on your fitness level, weight, and your pace—the faster you move, the more calories you burn. The same distance presents an ever-lowering challenge as your fitness levels increase. As the challenge becomes more comfortable, you burn fewer calories.

Then comes the terrain: the more difficult the terrain, the greater the challenge. If you use an activity tracker to measure one mile of flat stroll and one mile of brisk uphill, you’ll see exactly what I’m saying.

Rules of Thumb

• Move as fast as you can comfortably, on a terrain you can safely conquer.
• Listen to your body, and don’t push too hard too quickly.
• If you make daily activity a habit, the threshold will move by itself.

Here is one benefit of walking or running faster: you conquer large distances in the same amount of time.

In this instance, the number of steps or miles bears more significance. You can do a 20-minute session and still feel accomplished. Set the time goal, move fast, and you will burn more calories.

Set a Goal to Work Towards

Once you can answer the question, “How many steps in a mile running,” don’t stop there. Instead of arbitrarily walking or running, set a goal for yourself. When you’re moving toward a finish line, you’re more likely to stick with it.

Most new runners set a goal to run a 5K or to run 2 miles a day. Try these challenges first, then move on to bigger races in the future!

Thomas Watson is an ultra-runner, UESCA-certified running coach, and the founder of MarathonHandbook.com. His work has been featured in Runner's World, Livestrong.com, MapMyRun, and many other running publications. He likes running interesting races and playing with his two tiny kids. More at his bio.

2 thoughts on “How Many Steps in a Mile Running or Walking?”

1. Hi Thomas. Interesting stuff. The 10,000 step target for many people certainly leads to some difficult … discussions … sometimes. Seemingly unlikely step counts are given for what seems like relatively modest exercise activities. Inevitably the doubters try to work out likely step rates and how likely the indicated count was to have been accurate. Compounded by offering their own step counts for the same activity – which, as you have demonstrated, can vary. Perhaps your article will help to resolve some of these discussions. Perhaps … 🙂

• Yup, step count varies!

What’s most important is to just get out, and start taking them!!!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.