How Many Miles is 20,000 Steps a Day?

  Mar 18, 2024
Reviewed by Vivek Upadhyay

The Foreword

Walking, or even running half marathons, is the ultimate holy grail to healthier living. 

Over the years, healthcare professionals have strongly emphasized the importance of brisk walking for improved well-being. 

A study revealed that walking as few as 4,400 steps daily reduces mortality risk by 41% compared to taking fewer than 2,700 steps. And, as you increase the step count, the risk factor diminishes further. 

Long story short:

Engaging in a workout with as many steps as possible, preferably 20,000 steps, offers exceptional benefits to your overall fitness and keeps you on the right side of the weighing scale. 

But have you ever wondered how many miles is 20,000 steps? After all, aiming for it is a significant goal. It has quite similar benefits to the 5k mile race, that instantly boosts the heath. 

The guide to follow deep-dives to explain:

  • How far is 20,000 steps in miles?
  • How long does it take to complete 20,000 steps?
  • How many calories can you lose while doing 20,000 steps?

Let’s get started. 

20,000-steps running and walking

How Many Miles is 20000 Steps a Day?

Walking 20000 steps a day can certainly sound like a lot, especially to beginners, but how many miles are in 20000 steps?

How far you will walk if you walk 20000 steps a day depends on your step length or stride length, which can be thought of as the amount of ground you cover between each step (right foot to left foot) or each stride (the distance covered by one full gait cycle, or right foot to right foot landing again).

The longer your steps and strides, the further you will walk throughout your 20000 steps to miles. Step length depends on numerous factors, such as your height, walking speed, sex, age, fitness level, and the terrain you’re walking on.

Of these factors, height tends to be the most significant. Taller individuals have longer legs and can take longer steps or strides.

You can determine your approximate step length by counting the steps you take over a certain distance, wetting your feet, and measuring the distance between footprints.

Therefore, walking 20,000 steps daily works out to 10 miles (24 km) for the average man and 8.2 miles (13.2 km) for the average woman.

20,000 Steps to Miles – How Far Is It?

Embarking on a journey to walk 20,000 steps daily may initially appear quite daunting, particularly for beginners.

However, unraveling the mystery behind the distance covered by 20,000 steps a day requires understanding the concept of step length or stride length.

Step length represents the ground traversed between each step, from the right foot to the left foot, while stride length encompasses the distance covered by one complete gait cycle, from the right foot landing again to the subsequent right foot landing.

As you might expect, the length of your steps and strides directly influences the distance covered during those 20,000 steps. Step length, in turn, is influenced by several factors, including your height, walking speed, sex, age, fitness level, and the terrain you tread upon.

Height tends to play the most significant role of all these factors. Tall individuals with longer legs can take lengthier steps or strides, allowing them to cover more ground with each movement.


How Can One Estimate Their Approximate Step Length – 20,000 Steps to Miles?

There are a couple of methods to accomplish this. Firstly, you can count your steps while traversing a known distance.

This calculation will provide a rough estimation of your step length.

Alternatively, you may wet your feet and measure the distance between your footprints. This approach also helps in approximating your step length accurately.

To convert steps into miles, we rely on the fact that one mile equals 5,280 feet.

  • Considering this, it follows that the average man completes approximately 2,000 steps in one mile, while the average woman requires approximately 2,437 steps to traverse the same distance. 
  • Armed with this knowledge, we can confidently assert that walking 20,000 steps equates to covering a distance of approximately 10 miles (or 24 kilometers) for the average man and about 8.2 miles (or 13.2 kilometers) for the average woman.
  • Understanding the relationship between step count and distance is valuable for individuals striving to achieve fitness goals, monitor their daily activity, or engage in walking. 
  • By acknowledging the impact of step length, specifically influenced by factors such as height and other individual characteristics, one can better assess their progress and adjust their walking targets accordingly. 

Understanding 20,000 Steps in Distance Covered in Miles

Here’s a table showcasing the distance covered in miles for different step counts, including 20,000 steps:

Step CountAverage Step Length (inches)Average Steps per MileDistance Covered (in miles)
10,00026 (women) / 31 (men)2,437 (women) / 2,000 (men)4.1 (women) / 5 (men)
15,00026 (women) / 31 (men)2,437 (women) / 2,000 (men)6.2 (women) / 7.5 (men)
20,00026 (women) / 31 (men)2,437 (women) / 2,000 (men)8.2 (women) / 10 (men)
25,00026 (women) / 31 (men)2,437 (women) / 2,000 (men)10.3 (women) / 12.5 (men)
30,00026 (women) / 31 (men)2,437 (women) / 2,000 (men)12.3 (women) / 15 (men)

Please note that the values for average step length and steps per mile may vary based on individual characteristics and walking habits. The table provides estimates based on the average step lengths reported for women and men, but individual results may differ.

This table provides information on the distance covered in miles based on different step counts. The average step lengths reported for women and men and the corresponding average steps per mile are used.

For running 20,000 steps, it translates to approximately 8.2 miles for women and 10 miles for men, based on the average step lengths and steps per mile. Remember that these values are estimates, and individual results may vary depending on stride length, terrain, and personal running style.

How Long Does It Take to Do 20,000 Steps?

When aiming to achieve a daily step count of 20,000, various factors include height, speed, and stride length.

Your stride length refers to the distance between the heel of your front foot and the toe of your back foot, which is a reliable indicator of the number of steps you will take to cover a specific distance.

If your strides are shorter, you will take more steps but cover fewer miles than someone with a longer stride length.

Determining your stride length can provide a closer estimate of the number of steps required to walk a mile.

By collectively considering your height, speed, and stride length, you can estimate the time it will take to accomplish the target of 20,000 steps.

How Long Does It Take to Walk 20,000 Steps?

If you’re looking to plan your workout and want to calculate the time required to walk 20,000 steps based on your speed, let’s break it down for you:

  • Walking at 4 mph: It would take 2.5 hours to complete 20,000 steps.
  • Walking at 3 mph: It would take 3.5 hours to complete 20,000 steps.
  • Walking at 3.5 mph: It would take 4 hours to complete 20,000 steps.
  • Walking at 2.5 mph would take 4.5 hours to complete 20,000 steps.

It’s essential to maintain a steady speed and avoid starting too fast when walking. This will enable you to maintain a constant pace and accurately estimate the time required to complete 20,000 steps.

How Long Does It Take to Run 20,000 Steps?

Maintaining a consistent speed can be more challenging when it comes to running. After all, running isn’t just about starting off at a sprint, but also taking precautions to prevent exhaustion and injuries like shin splints

However, estimating the time required to complete 20,000 steps is still possible. Let’s break it down:

  • Running a 12-minute mile: It will take you two hours to reach 20,000 steps.
  • Running a 10-minute mile: It will take an hour and 57 minutes to reach 20,000 steps.
  • Running an 8-minute mile: It will take an hour and 52 minutes to reach 20,000 steps.
  • Running a 6-minute mile: It will take an hour and 45.6 minutes to reach 20,000 steps.

Please note that your time will depend not only on your speed but also on your height and stride length. The provided tables and information can assist you in calculating a personalized time.

These calculations assume that you start your step count at zero and continue until you reach 20,000 steps without any breaks in between. Depending on your schedule, you may accumulate 20,000 steps throughout the day while exercising, working, and running errands.


How Many Calories Do You Burn Walking 20000 Steps a Day?

Walking 20,000 steps daily offers the advantage of burning a substantial amount of calories. The calories burned while walking depend on body weight, speed, distance covered, and incline intensity.

To accurately estimate the calorie expenditure of walking 20,000 steps, monitoring your heart rate and utilizing a fitness watch that tracks distance and speed is recommended.

Without a heart rate monitor or GPS running watch, you can still approximate the calories burned during a 20,000-step walk by referring to the METs (metabolic equivalent of task) values for different walking speeds and inclines.

These values provide a measure of energy expenditure during physical activity.

By considering these factors and utilizing appropriate tools, you can gain an approximate understanding of the number of calories burned while walking 20,000 steps per day.

Monitoring your heart rate and utilizing fitness-tracking devices can provide more accurate data for tracking your progress and achieving your fitness goals.

Effective Tips for Walking 20000 Steps Every Day

While it may seem daunting initially, you can achieve this feat and improve your overall well-being with the right strategies and mindset. 

Set Incremental Goals

Walking 20,000 steps daily can be a significant challenge, especially if you’re not accustomed to high step counts. Instead of jumping straight to the ultimate goal, set incremental targets.

Begin with a realistic step count that matches your current fitness level and gradually increase it each week.

For example, you could start with 8,000 steps daily and add 1,000 weekly until you reach 20,000. Breaking the journey into smaller milestones will make the goal more achievable and help you stay motivated.

Find Opportunities to Walk

Incorporating more steps into your daily routine requires a proactive approach. Look for opportunities to add extra walking throughout the day.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car farther away from your destination, or get off public transportation a few stops earlier. Consider scheduling short walking breaks during work hours or engaging in hobbies like gardening or dancing.

By making conscious choices to move more, you can accumulate steps and reach your daily target more easily.

Use Technology and Tracking Apps

Embrace the power of technology to track your steps and stay motivated. Wearable fitness devices like pedometers or smartwatches can help monitor your step count accurately.

They provide real-time feedback on your progress and serve as a visual reminder to keep moving. Many smartphone apps are also available to track your steps and provide additional features such as goal setting, challenges, and social sharing.

Utilizing these tools allows you to stay accountable, celebrate milestones, and stay motivated on your journey to 20,000 steps.

Make Walking Enjoyable

Walking for extended periods can become monotonous if you don’t find ways to make it enjoyable. Consider exploring new routes, walking in nature parks, or discovering scenic trails in your area.

Bring a friend, a family member, or a pet for company and motivation. Listening to upbeat music, engaging audiobooks, or educational podcasts can make your walks more entertaining and mentally stimulating.

You can also use the time to reflect, practice mindfulness, or set personal goals. By adding elements of enjoyment to your walks, you’ll look forward to each step and make the 20,000-step challenge a pleasant experience.

Focus on Posture and Recovery

Maintaining proper posture while walking is crucial for preventing injuries and maximizing the benefits of your steps. Keep your head up, shoulders relaxed, and spine aligned.

Engage your core muscles and swing your arms naturally. Wear comfortable and supportive footwear to ensure a good walking experience.

Additionally, don’t forget to prioritize post-walk recovery. Stretching your muscles, using a foam roller, or practicing yoga can help reduce muscle tightness and prevent stiffness.

Adequate rest and sleep are essential for your body to recover and prepare for the next day’s walking session.

The Bottom Line

Walking 20,000 steps a day offers many benefits that encompass physical and mental well-being.

By committing to this daily practice, you can enhance your body’s function and overall health while also experiencing improvements in your cognitive performance and mental well-being.

While it may require a significant time investment, walking 20,000 steps daily is worthwhile and yields lifelong rewards. Embrace the opportunity to prioritize your health and invest in yourself.

With each step, you pave the way for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.


Also Read: The Ultimate Inner Chest Workout Guide (5 Proved Exercises)