Q:

# How can you calculate the number of steps needed to cover a known distance?

A:

The number of steps needed to cover a known distance is equal to the distance divided by the walker's stride length. Stride length is typically approximately equal to 42 percent of a person's height, according to About.com.

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In general, taller people take longer strides and, therefore, require fewer steps to cover a given distance. A person who is 5'5" tall typically takes 2,321 steps per mile, according to About.com. On the other hand, a person who is 6'0" typically only takes 2,095 steps to cover the same distance.

Individuals can find out how many steps they take per mile by using a pedometer or by counting steps. Find a quarter-mile track and walk around it in the inside lane while wearing a pedometer or counting steps. Multiply the total number of steps by four to find the number of steps taken per mile. Multiplying this number by the number of miles walked allows a person to calculate the number of steps to cover any distance.

Many pedometers use stride length to calculate the distance that a person has traveled based on the number of steps taken. Entering an accurate stride length can make this distance estimate more accurate. For women, the average stride length is 2.2 feet, while for men the average is 2.5 feet, according to About.

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