To measure stride length, mark a distance on the ground and walk it a few times, counting the number of strides (two steps). Stride length is equal to the distance divided by the number of strides.
Stride length is different from step length. Where one foot touches the ground is the starting point for both. However, a step is measured at the point where the other foot touches the ground, and a stride is measured where the same foot lands again. Usually, right and left steps are similar, while the two stride lengths are equal.
- Prepare the experiment Gather together a stopwatch, a measuring tape and some markers to indicate the walkway. Find a volunteer, record the person's height and measure the person's leg length. Measure out and mark a certain distance on the floor (for instance, 33 feet).
- Have the volunteer walk Have the volunteer start walking a bit before the walkway to let him or her gain a normal walking speed. Ask the volunteer to continue walking after he or she has crossed the finishing line, so that the volunteer slows down after the walkway. Let the volunteer repeat the walking three times. Using the stopwatch, find out the time it takes the volunteer to walk 33 feet (or the distance chosen). At the same time, count the volunteer's strides, which are two steps.
- Calculate stride length Find out the volunteer's mean number of strides. Divide the distance by the number of strides to arrive at stride length. Repeat the procedure with a volunteer of a different height to see how stride is affected by a person's height.