A famous quote from Carrie Latet goes like this, “Walking is the most ancient exercise and still the best modern exercise.” It is highly effective yet extremely convenient for most people who want to exercise. We all have been walking since our toddler years, yet have never cared about measuring the length of our steps. Progress in any walking program is based on either the number of steps walked or the distance walked. Apart from the step length, there is something called stride length and we usually get confused between the two. However, technically they are not the same. Now, what is stride length and what about the average walking stride length? Does it sound like something interesting to explore about? If yes, then take a look further.
Average Walking Stride Length: An Overview
If you have been walking every day as a means of your fitness routine but have never measured your steps’ length, then you should go for it and do the measurement. Using an average will aid you in estimating the distance traveled by you and this can be done by counting your footsteps. But, for accurate data, you should try measuring your stride. All you would need is a measuring tape and just a few minutes.
Clear the Confusion: Strides Vs Steps
Okay, let’s clear the confusion between the two, the stride length and step length. Stride length is usually confused or is interchangeably used with step length.(1) But, they are not the same measurement when we look at the technicality.
Stride length, while walking, is the distance measured between the heel strike of the same foot. But, step length is the distance measured between the heel strike of one foot with the heel strike of the alternate foot while walking.
Though for pedometer measurement and walking programs, the measurement is referred to as stride length, it is the step length, which is generally used.
Know More About “Average Walking Stride Length”
It has been reported by the University of Wyoming that in one mile, there are approximately 2,000 steps. Thus, the average step length would be 2.6 feet(31 inches).(2) So, for an average person, the stride length (that equals two steps) is just over 60 inches or a little more.
However, for shorter people, this average could be less, somewhere around 18 inches if the person is 5 feet, 2 inches tall. So accordingly the average stride length would be around 36 inches.
What Role Does Gender Plays in Average Stride Length?
The average stride length depends on various factors, and one amongst those is gender. In the case of women, the average stride length is smaller as compared with the men.
As per the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, it is listed down that a woman’s average stride length is 52 inches and step length is approximately 26 inches. However, a man’s average stride length is 62 inches and average step length is measured approximately 31 inches.(3)
How To Calculate Your Average Stride Length?
Though average stride lengths are useful, finding your actual stride length is easier and simple. For this, you need to follow a few simple steps.
Place your foot on the ground and make a mark at the toes.
The first step that you would take, will be the step no-1
You can take 10 steps on a track and then measure the total distance from your starting point to the endpoint after 10 steps. You will get your stride length with this. For example, if you travel 280 inches in 10 steps, you average 28 inches per step.
And for finding out your average stride length more accurately, you should repeat the abive exercise 2-3 times and then average the recorded stride lengths.
How Does The Average Stride Length Tell How Far You Will Go?
Stride length is essential to determine how far one would walk in a given number of steps. It can be said roughly that with the average woman’s stride length, one would take 2, 400 steps to walk one mile. However, a man with the average stride length can cover one mile in 2, 100 steps. So, based on your gender and height, you can calculate your average stride length first and then know, how far you will go in certain step counts.
What Are The Benefits Of Knowing The Average Stride Length?
Stride length and step length are useful for a doctor for diagnosing a problem with your gait. Using these important numbers of your average stride length or step length, your physical therapist or doctor can evaluate the progress and effectiveness of the prescribed treatment for the condition resulting in gait irregularities.
Apart from this, knowing your average stride length could also be beneficial to evaluate your fitness.
From the above sections, we get to know that though the stride length and step length are used interchangeably, these two are different. So, if you are willing to know your progress in the walking program, then go for calculating your average strep length and find by yourself.