One Million Steps - How Long and How Far?

Pedometer Walking

Fitbit Surge - 10,000 Steps Congratulations
Fitbit Surge - 10,000 Steps Congratulations. Wendy Bumgardner ©

A million steps sounds like a lot, how long would it take you to walk one million steps? I joined an online challenge to log a million pedometer steps in 91 days, which would be an average of 11000 steps per day. Here is what I discovered about the big number.

How Long Does it Take to Walk a Million Steps?

A pace of three miles per hour or five kilometers per hour is a steady walking pace. Let's translate that into hours of walking.

  • 166.7 hours walking three miles per hour. Almost seven full days of walking.
  • Just under two hours of walking per day (1:50) for 91 days at three miles per hour.

Let's look at that from an all-day pedometer steps point of view.

  • At 5000 steps per day, it would take you 200 days.
  • At 8000 steps per day, it would take you 125 days.
  • At 10,000 steps per day, it would take you 100 days.

How Far is One Million Steps?

An average stride is about 2000 steps per mile, but I have a shorter stride and I take 2300 step per mile. How to Measure Your Stride

  • 500 miles or 806 kilometers with an average stride.
  • 435 miles or 701 kilometers with a shorter stride.
  • 2016 times around a 400 meter running track.
  • 8,800 football fields or soccer fields.
  • 9,778 "walks" in baseball.
  • A walk from San Diego and San Francisco, California.
  • A walk from Detroit, Michigan to New York City, New York.
  • A walk from Paris, France to Milan, Italy.
  • A walk from the white cliffs of Dover, England to Edinburgh, Scotland. Then you could sing along with The Proclaimers, "I would walk 500 miles..."

    From a daily perspective:
    5.5 miles or 8.9 kilometers per day for 90 days.

    How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Million Steps?

    A million steps burns about 40,000 calories for a 150 pound person. That's 11 pounds of fat.
    Pedometer Steps Calorie Calculator

    How Do You Measure 1,000,000 Steps?

    Pedometers count walking steps.

    Simple pedometers count your steps until you reset the number, and may only register up to 99,999 steps. You would have to keep track every time your "odometer turned" on your way to a million. You also could have real heart-ache if you accidentally hit the reset button and lost a big count.
    Top Picks for Pedometers

    Many advanced pedometers and activity monitors count all-day steps and automatically reset at midnight, saving the previous day in memory. Pedometers linked to apps or online dashboards sync and save your data. I used my data from the Fitbit One and the Nike+ Fuelband to track my progress towards a million steps. I can review totals for days, weeks, and months online or on an app.

    All Day Steps or Workouts?

    You can either wear a pedometer all day to count all of your activity, or just wear it for dedicated walking workouts. It's a matter of personal choice as to which you track. Studies show that there are health risks for sitting too long, and health benefits for achieving 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity per day.

    It's best to sit less and to get in a brisk walking workout, too.

    Some pedometers track only steps, while others such as Omron HJ-321 also track moderate-intensity "aerobic" activity separately.

    My Journey to a Million Steps

    Starting January 1, it took me until April 3 to reach 1,000,000 steps registered on my pedometers. I wore both the Fitbit One and the Nike+ Fuelband most of the day every day. It wasn't easy just getting to my daily activity goal on the Fuelband in the dead of winter. I did a lot of hallway walking at work and resorted to mallwalking a few times on the weekend. On better days, I did brisk walking one-mile workouts on my work breaks and I enjoyed a weekly Zumba class. Then on the weekends I did longer walks, including 10-kilometer volkssport walks, 9-mile training walks, and two half marathon walks. Those boosted my step totals.

    Will You Walk 1,000,000 Steps?

    However you choose to get there, I hope you, too, can join the Million Step Club. It's a fun goal to set and achieve.

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