For a person of average weight and height, research shows that the number of steps in a mile is somewhere between 2000 and 2500. When running, the figure decreases to between 1,400 and 1,700 (due to the increase in the length of stride).

For the average individual:

  • 1 mile equals between 2000 and 2500 steps
  • 1 kilometer equals between 1250 and 1550 steps
  • 10,000 steps equate to somewhere in the region of 4 to 5 miles.

The average person of average height has a stride length that is somewhere between 2.1 and 2.5 feet. On this basis, an average height person will make up a mile using somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 steps. 10,000 steps, therefore, equate to somewhere between 4 and 5 miles when calculated with an average stride length.

The above figures are just averages and are based upon studies that included participants. There are more accurate ways that you can work out how many steps it takes you to walk a mile, and these will be covered in this article. One crucial factor that cannot be ignored when working out how many steps make up a mile is your stride length. An excellent example of how this can make a difference is the stride of a runner who stands 7ft tall (when compared to a person walking who is 4ft tall). Of course, the stride length of these two people will vary greatly, as will the number of steps it takes each of them to walk or run a mile.

Research – Steps in a Mile

In 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine published a study. This study was based on research sought to find out how many steps women and men took to walk 1 mile at both a 15 and 20-minute pace; these were then compared to people running a mile at a pace of 6, 8, 10, and 12 minutes.

So, what were the findings? The average steps required by a man to walk or run a mile at a pace of 6 minutes were 1,064, and 2,310 steps were the average needed for women to walk a mile in 20 minutes. It was noted that generally, it took the individuals more steps to jog a 12-minute mile than it did to walk a 15-minute mile (1,951 for jogging, and 1,935 for walking). The researchers commented that these findings were likely to be because when someone jogs at a slower speed (a 12-minute mile), they take smaller steps than when walking a mile in 15 minutes.

It is also worth noting that people who exercise regularly and with high intensity generally cover the distance in less time and take fewer steps to do so. The health benefits from exercising at high intensity are also seen to be greater than exercising at low intensity. Before you make any changes to your current exercise regime, lifestyle, or fitness plan, you should always seek the advice of a qualified health professional.

Is Stride Length Affected by Age?

There are a few notable studies that relate to stride length and age. The first of these to be published was in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2000. In the study, Tibor Hortobagyi and his colleague Professor Paul de Vita set out to look at the power and the joint torques of elderly and young adults walking at identical speeds. What they discovered is that as people get older, they use less of their ankle muscles when they make a stride, using more of the hips muscles to walk. The results of this study showed that an elderly walker on average takes strides that are 4% shorter than younger adults.

A follow up to this study was published in Medicine & Science Sports and Exercise, and was carried out in 2016 by Dr. Devita. In this follow up study, Dr. Devita and his team examined the biomechanics of a group of healthy and recreational runners that fell into the age group of 23-59 years. The group participants ran at their own regular pace, while force data and motion were captured as they did so. Once all the necessary data was collected, it was analyzed and then correlated with the age of the participants.

What their research found was that as a person ages by one year, their stride length will decrease by 0.33%. If these indications are correct, a runner who is 20 years old will experience a decrease in stride length of 20% by the time he or she reaches 80.

Getting Active with Running and Walking

On almost a weekly basis, we can find a new news story published that advises us to get active. Current guidelines state that we should aim to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps each day. According to the National Health Service in the UK, 10,000 steps is a solid goal. Their suggestions say that a person who weighs in at 154 pounds (70kg or 11 stones) and is 45 years old can burn up to 400 cal by walking 10,000 quick steps each day (3-5 mph).

The key here is the intensity of the walk. A person will use more energy and, in turn, burn more calories the faster they walk.

Research also shows that when you carry out a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, the risk of many chronic diseases is reduced. Moderate intensity activity can include brisk walking or any other types of activities.

Calories Burned Through Exercise and Walking

If you are one for facts and figures, the average man will burn about 106 calories each mile he walks. This is based on an average adult, many who weigh about 200 pounds or 91 kg. Average women, interestingly, will burn nearly 90 calories for the same walk (weight around 77kg or 170 pounds)

If you want to work out how many calories you will burn for each mile you walk, simply multiply your weight in pounds by 0.53, or your weight in kilograms by 1.17.

When working out these figures, it is assumed that you are not carrying any extra weight with you. If you walk while carrying additional weight (such as with a backpack or child), you will burn more calories. It is also essential to take into consideration your level of fitness. As you become fitter, you also become more fuel-efficient. What this means is that the average caloric expenditure per 1 mile walked will vary.

Burning Calories While Running

The average male that weighs 91kg or 200 pounds will burn about 150 calories when running un-weighted. The figure for an average female that weighs in at 170 pounds or 77Kg is 128 calories.

If you want to calculate how many calories you can burn when running 1 mile, all you need to do is multiply your weight in kg by 1.65 or your weight in pounds by 0.75.