Research shows that, on average, it takes an adult approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes to walk 10,000 steps. That being said, the “average” doesn’t work for everyone. If that were the case, walking a mile in someone else’s shoes wouldn’t teach us anything, let alone a valuable lesson.
Consider the factors below for the best way to give you the closest idea of just how far 10,000 steps will take you. So, put the treadmill speed at 2.5 and read on.
Factors to Determine Your Time
How much time you spend on the belt really depends on several things. Since we aren’t all built the same, move the same, or weigh the same at the same height, the outcomes will never truly be the same. So throw in the towel on “average,” and let’s find out how long YOU may need to walk to hit your goal of 10,000 steps.
Stride and Step Length
One small step for man… might be an even smaller step for woman since our strides are not the same. We all have a stride length, determined by the distance we cover by taking two steps (one with each foot) and measuring from toe to toe or heel to heel. This is what you use to calculate how far you walk on average, depending on the distance you cover and how fast you walk.
Then we have a step length. This is the same idea, only you take one step forward and measure the distance from toe to toe or heel to heel. This isn’t always half of your stride length, so it’s good to measure both.
For walking purposes, most use step length to help determine how long it will take to cover a certain distance. The average step length is about 30 inches, but it varies based on height.
Another factor to consider is your pace. Even if you and I both stride at 2.3 ft, you will beat me if you walk faster than I do. So speed is a definite factor in how long it takes to complete 10,000 steps on the treadmill.
Your pace and step length affect each other as well. When you increase walking speed, you typically increase your stride to help provide better balance. So, walking faster means you finish your steps faster.
That said, let’s take a step length of 28 inches to reach 10,000 steps and see what different speeds give us for time.
|Very slow at 1.5 MPH||2 hr 57 min|
|Slow walk at 2 MPH||2 hr 13 min|
|Average pace at 2.5 MPH||1 hr 46 min|
|Brisk walk at 3.5 MPH||1 hr 16 min|
Height and Weight
How much you weigh will affect how fast you can move and how long you can continue your pace. Additionally, how tall or short you are affects your step and stride length, thus changing how many steps you need to take to cover a determined distance. A 6’ tall male with a longer gait may need just over an hour to finish their goal, whereas a 5’ 2” female may need an extra 20 or 30 minutes to reach the same goal.
Our age plays a part in everything we do, no matter how much we try to outrun the inevitable. As we get older, our bones shrink and become more brittle. More times than not, this leads to a shorter gait, taking an older person longer to walk the same distance they did 10 years ago.
Time: One Session or Multiple Sessions?
When you look at the chart and see you need to allow at least one hour at minimum to get 10,000 steps in a day, you might want to consider if you need to do it all at once. Honestly, for most, one hour on a treadmill can be tedious unless you have a show to watch or a book to read.
Some people have no problem spending an hour or 2 working out or walking at one allotted time, but that could be a lot of strain on your body if you aren’t used to it.
Consider breaking down that one hour into 4- 15 minute sessions. You could do one right away in the morning, another at lunch, when you get home from work, and then right before bed. If that is too much to schedule, do it in two segments, morning and night.
If your heart is set on that 10,000-step goal, consider how many steps you get just doing your usual routine OFF the treadmill. You don’t need to ignore those steps and only count the ones done on your treadmill. Everyone burns calories throughout the day; this is your TDEE or total daily energy expenditure.
This handy calculator helps give you an idea of what you already burn without working out if that is why you have your step goal. Also, the average person takes roughly 3,000-4,000 steps, so you are already almost halfway there.
Instead of getting your steps on the treadmill, try doing these during your daily routine:
- Park further away at work or when you go shopping
- Take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators
- Use your lunch break to walk rather than sit in the breakroom
- Drink LOTS of water- water makes you pee- you have to walk double if you have to pee more
Regardless of your goals or why you want to meet them, be sure to do it in a healthy and safe manner. If you can’t get all 10,000 steps done on the treadmill at once, break your time into segments to avoid overusing the same muscles for an extended time. Remember, alternative methods of reaching your goal allow for more creative mind flow and better chances of continuing to reach your goal daily.