You probably take thousands of steps every day. But how many miles do you walk on average? Well, at this point you must be trying to calculate, how many steps make up a mile.

But, let’s be clear. There is no single answer to the question, “how many steps is a mile?”. Because, “steps to miles” conversion depends on a number of factors like, your age, gender, physical condition, stride length etc. Your pedometer or fitness app might tell you how many miles you covered at a certain time and what was your pace; but it may use rough estimates rather than a precise formula that takes into account individual characteristics.

In this post, we’ll take a look at how to convert steps into miles. We’ll also see what research has to say about the ideal number of steps to take in a day.

Read on to find out how many steps is a mile and the formula behind an accurate steps to miles converter.

How to Calculate Miles From Steps?

Calculating miles from steps is easy. You only have to follow a few steps.

1. Track your total steps during a specific activity, such as a cardio walk or run. Or your total steps throughout the day.

2. Measure your stride length. Learn how to do this later in this article.

3. Multiply your total steps by your stride length to get your distance in feet.

4. Divide the distance by 5,280, which is the number of feet in one mile.

For example, let’s say you took 12,000 steps, and your stride length is 2.1 feet. The formula you need to use is:

Steps x stride length divided by 5,280

12,000 x 2.1 / 5,280 = 4.77 miles

Next, let’s take a closer look at each of the steps above.

Measure Your Steps

The first step in converting steps to miles is to track your steps. The most convenient way to do this is to use a pedometer.

Today’s smartphones have built-in pedometers that automatically track your steps. Smartwatches and fitness trackers can also track your steps.

If you use a pedometer, test it first to make sure it tracks all your movements. For example, keeping a smartphone in your pocket may not always track all your steps.

Good to know: Pedometers often count your total distance in miles based on your step count. They do this by approximating your stride length based on your height if you have provided that information.

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Measure Your Stride Length

Stride length equations don’t have to be difficult. It’s easier to measure your stride length outdoors. All you need is some chalk and a tape measure.

1. Mark your starting point with chalk.

2. Walk 50 steps from the starting point.

3. Make another mark after your last step.

4. Measure the distance between the two marks with the tape measure.

5. Convert the distance to feet if necessary.

6. Divide the distance in feet by the number of steps to determine your stride length.

For example, let’s say the distance is 105 feet. Divide it by 50, and you have an average stride length of 2.1 feet.

Note that your stride length will vary depending on whether you are walking or running. If you want to find out how far you can run, be sure to test your running stride.

Calculate the Distance

The next step is to calculate your distance based on your average stride length. Simply multiply the number of steps you took by your stride length.

For example, let’s say you took a total of 6,242 steps during your walk, and you have a stride length of 2.3 feet. Multiply 6,242 by 2.3 to get the distance you traveled. In this case, that would be 14,356.6 feet.

Want to figure out how many miles you walked based on your stride length? Divide the above number by 5,280, the number of feet in a mile:

14,356.6 / 5,280 = 2.719 miles

Not bad for a walk!

If all these calculations sound a bit time-consuming – and they are – the following chart may help. It is a quick way to convert steps to miles.

Convert to Miles: Steps to Miles Chart

Here is a general chart that can help you convert steps to miles and vice versa. It also tells you how many steps are in a mile on average.

Keep in mind that these numbers are rough estimates. For more accurate results, use the step-by-step instructions above.

Note: This information is based on data provided by Central Washington University.

Step countDistance
500 steps0.25 mile
1,000 steps0.5 miles
1,500 steps0.75 miles
2,000 steps1 mile
3,000 steps1.5 miles
4,000 steps2 miles
5,000 steps2.5 miles
6,000 steps3 miles
7,000 steps3.5 miles
8,000 steps4 miles
9,000 steps4.5 miles
10,000 steps5 miles
11,000 steps5.5 miles
12,000 steps6 miles
13,000 steps6.5 miles
14,000 steps7 miles
15,000 steps7.5 miles
20,000 steps10 miles
25,000 steps12.5 miles
30,000 steps15 miles
40,000 steps20 miles
Steps to Miles Conversion Table

Tip: Looking for a more specific measurement? You can also try an online steps-to-miles calculator like this one.

Does Age Affect Step/Stride Length?

As we age, our stride length decreases. The speed at which we walk also slows down. A study of 26 older adults (average age 79) sheds light on this. It found that older people had a 10% shorter stride length than young people (average age 26).

This means that older people have to take more steps to cover the same distance as young people. How much shorter steps become with age varies from person to person.

How Many Steps Is Enough?

You have probably heard that walking 10,000 steps a day is good for you. The recommendation to walk 10,000 steps a day is probably based on a 1965 Japanese marketing campaign for a pedometer called the “10,000-Step Meter.” It has no scientific basis.

A 2010 study suggests that walking 3,000–4,000 steps a day can improve cardiovascular health for most people. 

This is equivalent to 30 minutes of at least moderate-intensity walking. It is also important to take these steps in sustained 10-minute bursts.

Another study found that 4,400 more steps can significantly reduce the risk of death in inactive women. But even 2,000 extra steps a day have health benefits.

Don’t use a pedometer? Maybe it’s time to start. Research suggests that pedometers can help motivate inactive people to walk around 2,500 more steps every day.

How to Calculate How Many Steps It Takes to Run a Mile?

The number of steps it takes to walk or run a mile depends on your speed, height, and sex. To estimate your step count, you can use the following equations published in ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

Walking pace

Women: 1,949 + [(63.4 x pace) – (14.1 x height*)] = steps per mile

Men: 1,916 + [(63.4 x pace) – (14.1 x height)] = steps per mile

*Convert height in feet to inches. For example, for someone who is 5’6″, this would be [(5 x 12)] + 6] = 66 inches.

Running for both men and women

1,084 + [(143.6 x pace) – (13.5 x height)] = steps per mile

Let’s take the example of a 5’6″ woman running at a pace of 10 minutes per mile. Based on these equations, she will need 1,629 steps to complete 1 mile.

The faster the pace, the fewer steps are needed to cover the same distance. If she were to run at a pace of 8 minutes per mile, she would only need 1,342 steps.

Good to know: The average adult stride length is between 2.2–2.5 feet. But studies show that when a person walks, their step length is not consistent.

FAQs

How many steps in a mile?

There are about 2,000 steps in 1 mile. But this can vary from person to person. In addition to individual differences, women and older people may need to take more steps to walk a mile.

How many miles are in 5,000 steps?

5,000 steps is about 2.5 miles. However, individual differences in stride length mean that some people can cover more distance in 5,000 steps.

How many miles are in 10,000 steps?

Converting 10,000 steps to miles equates to a distance of 5 miles for most people. Older people have a shorter stride length and may walk a shorter distance.

How many miles are in 20,000 steps?

If you walk 20,000 steps, you will cover a distance of about 10 miles. For a more accurate measurement, calculate your stride length.

How many miles are in 15,000 steps?

If you take 15,000 steps in a day, you can walk up to 7.5 miles. If you have a long stride length, you can cover an even longer distance.

How long does it take to walk a mile?

Most people can walk a mile in under 30 minutes. An average walking pace for a mile is about 20 minutes. At a brisk pace, you can walk a mile in 18 minutes or less.

How long does it take to run a mile?

A recreational runner in good shape can run a mile in about 9–10 minutes. New runners may take up to 15 minutes to run a mile. In comparison, an elite runner can run a mile in 5 minutes.

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Written by

Chris Zibutis

Chris Zibutis is the Head Running Coach and founder of Joggo – that one person on earth who loves interval runs.  He holds a degree from Copenhagen Business School and is an avid runner – having participated in numerous marathons and triathlons, Chris brings substantial fitness and running experience to the Joggo team.