How Many Miles Are In 10,000 Steps?

By: Mitch Ryan  | 
10,000 steps
Is walking 10,000 steps the magic to a healthy lifestyle?  adamkaz/Getty Images

There are several variables for calculating the distance a person can cover in 10,000 steps per day, including their height, stride length and physical ability, as well as the terrain. You can use a step count goal of 10,000 average daily steps as a personal activity benchmark to promote accountability and healthy habits in daily life. 

Since few people perform active job duties in today's workforce, everyone can aim to achieve a goal of 10,000 average steps per day to improve their cardiovascular output and overall health.


Walking, swimming and other low-impact activities can also promote a raised heart rate, improve mental health and help people maintain more energy throughout the day.

What Is the Easiest Way to Track Steps Per Day?

Activity trackers and health apps are the easiest ways to track daily steps, but you can also use basic math. Simply multiply your stride length by how many steps you take to solve for total distance, or use the inverse equation to solve for the number of steps by dividing miles traveled by stride length. The former equation looks like this:

Miles = Stride length x Number of steps

Adult stride lengths are typically 2.1 to 2.5 feet (64 to 76.2 centimeters), and average walking speed ranges between 2 and 4 miles per hour (3.2 to 6.4 kilometers per hour), so you can use these ranges to make an educated guess. 


But how many miles is 10,000 steps? Using those averages, that means there are about 5 miles in 10,000 steps. 

Using a pedometer or fitness tracker is a surefire way to ensure you are walking 10,000 steps a day. Many fitness trackers also provide overall health metrics like heart rate, energy levels and a daily step count for stairs and inclines.

Smartphones also track movement statistics and daily step counts. Some also count how many calories you burn if you're tracking weight loss.

health tracker
A health tracker or pedometer can help you track your daily steps.
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What Is the Walking Speed of an Average Person?

The average walking speed for most people is 2 to 4 miles per hour (3.2 to 6.4 kilometers per hour). However, it is essential to remember that this average may not account for varying terrains or someone with a lower-than-average fitness level.

A sedentary person walking inclines can expect a walking speed of 1 mile per hour (1.6 kilometers) or less, while a tall athlete with a long stride will likely surpass the average walking pace.


What Are the Benefits of Walking 10,000 Steps a Day?

Aside from just getting daily exercise, walking has been proven to have a ton of health benefits, including better sleep, reduced risk of stroke and better mood.

  • Enhanced mental clarity: Regardless of your weight loss plans or fitness goals, a brisk stroll outside provides a moment of fresh air and sunshine to help you reduce stress and stay healthy during the week.
  • Reduced risk of Alzheimer's: A University of Virginia Health System study found that men ages 71 to 93 who walked more than a quarter of a mile per day were half as likely to have dementia or Alzheimer's than those who walked less.
  • Improved cardiovascular health: Research suggests that regular exercise of moderate intensity reduces the risk of heart disease, obesity and other chronic conditions.
  • Optimized body composition: Burning more calories than you take in will tone and build your muscles and reduce fat.
senior walking her dog
Getting your daily steps in can include fun activities like walking your dog. No matter how you do it, the benefits are enormous.
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How Many Calories Do You Need to Burn to Lose Weight?

If your driving force behind achieving 10,000 steps per day is weight loss, you can expedite the fat burning process by managing your food portion sizes and choosing nutritionally dense calories.

Eating a healthy diet will boost calorie burn and improve performance in any physical activity. Consistent daily activity like walking is important, but if you're consuming more calories than you're burning, you'll be fighting an uphill battle.