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 it's recorded. But have you ever wondered how Fitbit calculates the number of steps you need to walk in order to reach a mile? We break it down below and explain 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. 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
erhui1979/Getty Images

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 2,112 steps per mile (63,360 inches / 30-inch stride length).
  • A five-foot-tall person walks approximately 2,534 steps per mile (63,360 inches / 25-inch stride length).

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

How Fitbit Calculates Your Miles

So, how does Fitbit calculate the number of miles you walk? Unless you enter 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 walk or run.

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

For example, if you walk 2,640 steps with a stride length of 24 inches, that's one mile covered (2,640 steps x 24 inch stride length = 63,360 inches). Conversely, if your Fitbit shows you walked one mile based on a stride length of 24 inches, that's 2,640 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 measure and enter your stride length in the Fitbit app. Here's how:

  1. Pre-measure an area (in inches or centimeters) where you can take at least 20 steps, such as your driveway or a long hallway.

  2. Count your steps as you walk across the pre-measured distance, walking at least 20 steps at a normal pace.

  3. Divide the total length of the pre-measured distance (in inches or centimeters) by the number of steps you took. This provides your stride length in inches or centimeters.

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

    Fitbit stride length screen

    For even greater accuracy, you 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 always gives you the best measurement of distance traveled (provided, of course, you have internet connectivity while using the GPS).