How Far Is 10,000 Steps


How Far Is 10,000 Steps

How far is 10,000 steps?

10000 Steps is all the rage right now in the fitness industry.  Health professionals, doctors, fitness buffs all are on the 10,000 steps a day band wagon.  So, obviously the question becomes, “How far is 10,000 steps“.

As it turns our your 10,000 steps might be quite different than my 10,000 steps.  The differences can be attributed to stride length, based on flexibility, leg length, height, what feels comfortable and many other factors.
To get a true since of what your 10,000 steps might be, you will need to measure out an average stride length.  For most people a stride length falls somewhere between 25 to 35 inches.

Now here is the fun part.  To calculate the distance you would travel for 10,000 steps you simply calculate your stride length in inches x 10,000 and convert that number into miles (inches x 0.0000157828283)

So for example a person with a stride length of 25 inches, their total inches for 10,000 steps would be 250,000 inches or roughly 3.945 miles.  If instead you are using the metric system for your calculations, the conversions would mostly be in centimeters and kilometers.

Running and 10,000 Steps

I found that I have to run longer distances to get to the magical 10,000 steps mark than I do when I walk.  When running my stride length is longer than when I walk, thus I cover more miles.   Normally I can get to the 10,000 step mark by walking 5 to 5.5 miles and if I run it usually falls somewhere between 6 to 6.5 miles.  If instead I Nordic Walk, it falls somewhere in between the two.

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Even though I have to run longer to achieve 10,000 steps, I usually can get to the goal faster than walking.

Cycling and 10,000 Steps And Other Exercises

To calculate Cycling or other Exercises into steps a good rule of thumb is to use the below conversions using a talk test.

1 min Low intensity (gentle) = 85 steps
Talk Test:
Low intensity – You basically can carry on a normal conversation without breathing difficulty.

 1 min Moderate/Brisk intensity (comfortable) = 150 steps
Talk Test: Moderate Intensity – You’re now warmed up and you’re beginning to have a little breathing issues, but nothing too strenuous.

1 min High Intensity (tolerable intensity but not for a long period of time) = 200 steps
Talk Test:
High Intensity – The pace has picked up to the point where you would have a very difficult time talking.

1 Min All Out (crazy hard intensity)   = 265 steps
Talk Test:
  Yea right – The only talking is in your head and it’s screaming how painful this is.

There is a ride here in Austin that starts at ATC (Austin Tri Cyclists).  It starts out at a low intensity for 5 minutes and then picks up to moderate for 15 minutes and then high intensity for 40 with occasional all out sessions. 

Based on this ride I would calculate the steps something like this
85 steps x 5 minutes
150 steps x 15 minutes
200 steps x 40 minutes
265 steps x 4 minutes

So this ride would roughly be equivalent to 11,735 steps at a high intensity clip.


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Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of,,, and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day. Location: Austin, TX USA

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