You Had To Ask…Converting Steps into Miles

Posted by lettucelose on March 6th, 2012 |Filed Under Tricks n Tools of the Trade | 2 Comments

When I stated that 10,000 steps equals 5 miles, I was giving everyone “one standard” that is commonly accepted and used but since your own experience has shown this to NOT be the case, here is a more exact way that I hope will help answer your question:

Instructions on How to Convert Steps to Miles:

1) Measure YOUR average step.**

To do this mark a beginning point either inside a large room or outside along even ground. Walk normally for ten steps. With a long tape measure, measure the distance from the beginning to end of your ten steps.

2) Divide the distance by the steps.

If you walked 30 feet or 360 inches, then you divide either one by ten and come up with 3 feet or 36 inches. This gives you the amount of distance you normally cover in a step.

3)Convert YOUR steps to decimals.

To make this easy, convert any remainder in your steps to a decimal form of a foot. So if you averaged 30 inches per step, your average is 2.5 feet. This will make the next step easier.
4)Divide the feet in a mile by the feet in your steps.

Note: 5,280 feet in every mile is the number you have to use. Divide your result from step three into 5280. If we use 2.5 feet then 2112 steps are in every mile for that person on average over even ground.


If doing the above calculations do not clarify your “concern” about the discrepancy, it is quite possible that YOUR steps may even be different walking the same distance depending on your level of energy and/or fatigue or the manner in which you walk. If you are taking long, purposeful strides when you walk (and possibly moving your arms in tempo) you may see some difference in how your pedometer registers your steps.

A REAL LIFE EXAMPLE: one of my walking partners in the past was 5″ shorter than me and had much shorter legs as well. While I was walking in what seemed like a much easier stride, she was really struggling to keep up with me since she had to take more steps in one stride than I did simply based on our individual physique. I am fairly certain that she probably was burning more calories than me simply because she was having to take more steps to keep up with me. Why do I say this? When I increase the speed at which I walk on my treadmill and I am wearing my pedometer, it shows quite a jump in the amount of steps that I am taking. I am walking the same amount of time but by walking faster I am both increasing the amount of steps but also the amount of calories I have burned (my treadmill calculates that for me).

Read more: How to Convert Steps to Miles |


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