How Many Steps Are in a Mile on Fitbit?

Get more from your fitness tracker's step counter

Just glance at your Fitbit, and it's easy to see the number of steps your Fitbit has recorded. But have you ever wondered how Fitbit calculates the number of steps you need to walk in order to reach a mile? Keep reading to learn how Fitbit calculates your miles walked, as well as how to calibrate your Fitbit to track distance more accurately.

How Height Correlates to Stride Length and Miles Walked

Your stride length is the distance you walk from heel to heel, and this distance depends on your height. That is, the taller you are, the longer your stride length, and the shorter you are, the shorter your stride length.

Long legs vs. short legs image
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To get an idea of your average stride length, just multiply 0.413 by your height in inches. For example, a person who is six feet tall (72 inches) has an average stride length of nearly 30 inches (72 x 0.413). A person who is five feet tall (60 inches) has an average stride length of about 25 inches (60 x 0.413).

To calculate the number of steps walked per mile, you need to know that a mile equals 63,360 inches. Doing a little math, we can calculate that:

  • A six-foot tall person walks approximately 2112 steps per mile (63,360 inches / 30 inch stride length).
  • A five-foot tall person walks approximately 2534 steps per mile (63,360 inches / 25 inch stride length).

However, these numbers are only approximate. Depending on how long or short your legs are, your stride length might differ from the average person, and hence, your steps per mile, and miles counted by Fitbit, will differ too.

How Fitbit Calculates Your Miles

So, how does Fitbit calculate the number of miles you've walked? Unless you've entered your stride length manually in the app, Fitbit uses the information you enter for height and gender to estimate your stride length. It then uses your stride length (estimated or manually entered) to calculate the distance you walked or ran.

The Fitbit distance formula is: Steps x Stride Length = Distance Traveled

For example, if you walk 2640 steps with a stride length of 24 inches, that's one mile covered (2640 steps x 24 inch stride length = 63360 inches). Conversely, if your Fitbit shows you've walked one mile based on a stride length of 24 inches, that's 2640 steps per mile.

For more information on how Fitbit calculates your daily activity and sleep cycle, see How Does a Fitbit Work?

How to Make Sure Fitbit Is Accurately Logging Your Miles

The best way to ensure your miles are being logged accurately is to manually enter your stride length in the Fitbit app. Here's how to measure your stride length and enter it into the app.

To measure your stride length:

  • Pre-measure an area (in inches or centimeters) where you can take at least 20 steps, such as your driveway or a long hallway.
  • Count your steps as you walk across the pre-measured distance, walking at least 20 steps at a normal pace.
  • Divide the total length of the pre-measured distance (in inches or centimeters) by the number of steps you took. This will provide your stride length in inches or centimeters.

Now, in the Fitbit app, go to Settings > Personal Info > Stride Length to enter your stride length.

Fitbit stride length screen

For even greater accuracy, can also use the GPS feature on certain models to calculate your distance traveled. Because it relies on GPS data, not steps taken, using the GPS feature will always give you the best measurement of distance traveled (provided of course, that you have internet connectivity while using the GPS).