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How to measure your step or stride

A stride is usually the distance travelled by one right leg and one left leg step so this is two steps.
However a stride confusingly can also mean the same as a step! This means the distance from where you lift one foot off the ground to where you put it down again.

In this article I take a stride as 2 steps and your step length is just one step

To find your stride length just double your step length.

So to make it easy here is how you measure your step.

You have to measure the distance that is travelled forward by just one of your legs.

One way is to make clear footprints in bare feet on a hard surface and then you measure from the beginning of the heel of one foot to the start of the heel print of your other foot.

But we don't all want to walk about in bare feet - it might be too cold!

So go outside with your walking shoes on and if possible get a friend to help you.

Walk on level ground - maybe on your driveway or the sidewalk/pavement.
To get an average step length you need to have taken at least ten steps before you start to measure one.

Mark on the ground with a cane(or other marker) where your heel started to lift off the ground and then put another cane or marker where the heel is placed down again. Then all you do is measure the distance between the two canes.

Another way you can measure your step is to
Walk a known distance say of 50 or 100 feet - you need to walk a reasonable distance to get a fair average.
As you walk this distance - count your steps - you can do this or a friend or you could use a pedometer
Divide the 50 ot 100 feet by the number of steps you have taken and the result will be your step length.

Another simple way is to walk normally over a measured 10 foot distance - again this could be done on a driveway or pavement. Count how many steps it takes you to cover the 10 foot distance.

Then all you need to do is divide the 10 feet by the number of steps you took. You can count half steps to make it more accurate.
Your answer will be your step length.

Everyone’s stride or step length varies due to our different leg lengths and heights. The average is taken as 2.2 feet for a woman and 2.5 feet for a man. Work out yours to see how close you are to the average.

Another way you can estimate your step length
Women = height x .413 equals your step length.
Men = height x .415 equals your step length.


Average number of steps (that is the distance that is travelled forward by just one of your legs.)

500 steps = ¼ mile,
1000 steps = ½ mile.
2000 steps = 1 mile
10,000 steps = 5 miles

The daily recommended number of steps for a healthy adult is 10,000.

Remember do not walk with your head bent forward and eyes gazing down - walk with your chin up and your shoulders held slightly back, with your feet pointed forwards in the direction you are going.

Here is another way if you feel you can walk a mile easily and need to check your pedometer.
Find a road with a path/sidewalk besdie it and travel down it for one mile.
First carefully setting your milometer and noting exactly where one mile starts and finishes.

Then walk that same distance with your pedometer on.If your pedometer tells you that you have walked 2 miles then your pedometer needed to know your step length ie one step not your stride length.

If your pedometer tells you that you have walked just half a mile then it doesn’t want to know your step length but your stride length ie two steps.

Find out more about the average walking pace and how to tell if you are walking briskly

Enjoy your walking

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