As people are learning about the importance of following a healthy lifestyle, more people are talking about adding small things to their daily routine that can make them fitter.
Walking more is topping the charts of ways to stay in shape. You cannot discuss getting fit or staying in shape without someone telling you to walk at least 20,000 steps.
Your phone, smartwatch, or fitness tracker all nudge you to track your steps, set new goals, and close the god-forbidden rings. It’d be safe to say that meeting the daily step goal has become the new daily obsession for many—now that the Pokémon catching craze has died down.
Although setting a new step goal is the first step in the right direction, knowing the breakdown of these steps can give you a better idea of the amount of work you need to put in. Knowing the kilometer or mile distance and the time it takes to cover the 20,000 step goal while running or walking can make you stick with the practice for the long term.
All primates, including humans, are highly visual creatures. We rely heavily on visual cues for basic adaptive behaviors. The ability to visualize what walking or running 20,000 steps will get you can deliver a sense of achievement.
In this article, we’ll help you answer the following questions:
- How many miles is 20,000 steps while walking and running?
- The time it takes to walk and run 20,000 steps.
- Benefits of walking 20,000 steps a day.
How Many Miles is 20,000 Steps?
20,000 steps can translate to 7.6 miles to 21.7 miles depending on gender, height, and speed, meaning if you’re trying to hit a distance goal, you might have to keep an eye on your walking speed and stride length.
The average American walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day or roughly 1.5 to 2 miles. Furthermore, a 2018 study conducted by the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity concluded that 10,000 steps per day are a reasonable target for healthy adults for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 
However, you know how us fitness freaks are. We always want to do a little extra to get the best bang for our buck. We’ll do supersets to get better muscle fiber recruitment, eat a few extra grams of protein to make sure we’re not leaving gains on the table, and sleep in so we are giving our bodies enough time to rest and recuperate from our workouts. So, how could we lag in the daily step goals?
20,000 steps per day is the current popular step goal in fitness circles, and we’ll do anything to meet the target. It is also probably why we have treadmill desks.
Convenience is one of the reasons why daily step goals have become so popular. You could do it anywhere, at any time, in one go or break it down into different sessions. Plus, you don’t need any expensive equipment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends walking 10,000 steps every day for improving your overall health and staying fit.
Walking 20,000 Steps Converted into Miles and Kilometers Based on Your Height
An average person takes 2,250 steps to cover a mile. However, this number is subjective and varies depending on height, gender, and pace. Your height is a major factor in determining your stride length, which is another factor contributing to the distance covered in walking 20,000 steps.
Your stride length is the distance from the toe of your front foot to the toe of your back foot or the heel of your front foot to the heel of your back foot.
The table below lays out the distance (in miles and kilometers) covered by people of different heights in 20,000 steps:
Running 20,000 Steps Converted into Miles and Kilometers Based on Your Height
If you are a runner and intend on meeting your daily step goal on a morning run, given below is the mile and kilometer breakdown based on your height and speed:
|Height/Speed||12 min/mile||10 min/mile||8 min/mile||6 min/mile|
|12. 0 miles
24. 2 km
33. 9 km
Per CDC data, an average American male is five-foot-nine inches tall, meaning an average man can cover 9.1 miles or 14.6 kilometers while walking. 
On the other hand, an average five-foot-nine inches tall male can cover 10.6 miles or 17.1 kilometers while running at a speed of 12 miles per minute. The distance covered jumps to 12.5 miles or 20.2 kilometers at 10 minutes per mile, 15.3 miles or 24.7 kilometers at eight miles per minute, and 19.7 miles or 31.7 kilometers at six miles per minute.
You could also use our convenient online steps to miles calculator if you’re in a rush and want to know the time, mile, and kilometer breakdown of your steps walked based on your gender, speed, and height.
How long does it take to cover 20,000 steps?
There are several factors to consider in determining how long it takes to cover 20,000 steps, including your height and stride length, age, weight, age, and speed.
People with shorter strides will walk fewer miles than taller folks with bigger strides. Knowing your stride length can give you a better estimate of how many steps you need to take to cover a mile.
Finally, your height, stride length, and speed can be used to accurately estimate the time you’ll need to walk 20,000 steps.
Overall Average Miles Covered in 20,000 Steps
An average person has a stride length of between 2.1 to 2.5 feet, meaning they will need to take approximately 2,250 steps to walk a mile. By this calculation, 10,000 steps will convert to around 4.5 miles. Similarly, 20,000 steps will convert to nine miles, with an average stride length.
A 2008 American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal study found the average number of steps taken to walk or run a mile ranges from 1,001 for a six-minute-mile running pace to 2,197 for a 20-minute-mile walking pace for a man five-feet-ten inches tall. 
Additionally, for a woman of average height (five-foot-four), the number of steps in a mile ranges from 1,082 for a six-minute-mile running pace to 2,315 for a 20-minute-mile walking pace.
Here are a few step-to-mile calculations for different walking/running speeds based on the research cited above:
- Average walk (20 mins/mile): 1 mile = 2,252 steps
- Brisk walk (15 mins/mile): 1 mile = 1,935 steps
- Jog (12 mins/mile): 1 mile = 1,951 steps
- Run (10 mins/mile): 1 mile = 1,672 steps
- Fast run (8 mins/mile): 1 mile = 1,400 steps
- Very fast run (6 mins/mile): 1 mile = 1,080 steps
Related: Calories Burned Running Calculator
How Age Affects Stride Length
A Journal of Applied Physiology study found that as people get older they increasingly rely on the muscles around their hips to make each stride while reducing the burden on their ankles. The study concluded with the observation that the stride length in elderly adults was four percent shorter than in young adults. 
Furthermore, a follow-up study suggests that with each passing year, a runner’s stride length and speed decrease by an average of 0.33%. By the time a 20-year-old runner reaches the age of 80, their stride length may have decreased by as much as 20%. 
Calories Burned Walking
Whether 10,000 or 20,000 steps, most people put in the hard work and take the strides every day because they want to burn calories. Given below are the calories burned while walking and running:
Calories burned per mile when walking
An average adult man burns around 106 calories by walking one mile. On the other hand, an average woman burns about 90 calories per mile.
To estimate the calories burned for walking a mile, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.53 (or kg weight × 1.17).
Calories burned per mile when running
An average adult male burns approximately 150 calories per mile when running. Their female counterparts, on the other hand, burn around 128 calories.
Multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.75 (or kg weight × 1.65) will give you estimated calories burned for running a mile.
If you’re looking for an easier way of finding out the calories burned while walking, our easy-to-use online calculator is what you need.
Benefits of Walking 20,000 Steps
Here are the benefits of taking 20K steps every day:
1. Great for Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight but want a low-impact activity to meet your objective, you cannot go wrong with walking 20,000 steps every day. Furthermore, studies show that walking exercises are proven to fight abdominal obesity. 
2. Improves Your Cardiovascular System
Walking 20,000 steps, especially in one go, can spike your heart rate, which gives your cardiovascular system a good workout.
3. Will Challenge You
Logging in 20K steps isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. It’ll push you to the limit, and there’ll be days when you’ll want to give up. Make no mistake, your grit will be tested.
4. Spend Time Outdoors
If you’re planning on starting your 20K step journey, you’ll probably be hitting the streets (or a trek) to meet your daily objective. A study showed that spending time outside and viewing pictures of nature helps significantly improve a person’s attention span and memory.
5. Stress Management
Taking a walk is one of the most effective ways of combating stress. It can also promote a problem-solving mindset.
6. Great Sleep
Walking 20,000 steps every day will ensure you have nothing left in the tank by the end of the day. It will help you get a better and deep sleep, which will help you wake up refreshed and energized.
Will I lose weight if I walk 20,000 steps every day?
Losing weight is a factor of calories in versus calories out, meaning you need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight. However, stacking a calorie deficit diet with walking 20,000 steps can boost your weight loss results.
How many steps per day should I take to remain fit and healthy?
Your exercise goals will change depending on your age, weight, and gender. According to ACE, adults should walk between 7,000 to 10,000. If you’re over 65, you should plan to walk between 3,000 to 10,000 steps per day.
If you are serious about your weight loss journey, taking 20,000 steps per day can fast-track your progress. However, if you are a beginner, you should begin with setting a more humble 10,000 steps a day goal.
Taking 20,000 steps a day translates to walking about nine miles. To meet their daily 20K step goal, most people set aside at least a couple of sessions during the day.
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