Steps are a fundamental measure of movement, providing a straightforward means of quantifying walking, which is an integral aspect of physical exercise. Additionally, tracking daily step counts can serve as a source of motivation for individuals to become more physically active.
The number of steps you take during a 3 km walk or run varies on many factors. The most important is your step length. How far you go when you take one step is called “step length.”
Number of steps in 3 km (9843 feet) = 9843 feet / your Step length (feet)
You can estimate your exact step length by various methods. Later in this article, I’ve included three easy ways to calculate your exact step length.
According to the University of Oklahoma, there are significant differences in the average step lengths between men and women. On average, women have a step length of 2.2 feet (equivalent to 26.4 inches), while men have an average step length of 2.5 feet (equivalent to 30 inches). Your step and stride length may be above or below the average, depending on your height and physical fitness.
Based on the University of Oklahoma’s findings regarding average step lengths,
An adult typically takes between 3937 and 4474 steps in 3 km of walking. Specifically, men take around 3937 steps, while women require around 4474 steps in 3 km of walking due to their shorter step lengths. However, Runners take around 2700 to 3700 steps in 3 km of running. This is because runners cover the same distance in fewer steps than walkers, owing to their longer step lengths and faster speeds.
And the average child takes about 4836 steps to walk 3 kilometers. Researchers have found that the average step length of children varies significantly depending on their age. A 2-year-old child has an average step length of 30 to 40 centimeters, whereas a 10-year-old has an average of 40 to 80 centimeters.
Note: Calculating the exact number of steps needed to cover a specific distance can be challenging due to several factors, such as height, preferred step length, and speed. Moreover, the distance covered per step can vary significantly depending on the terrain.
In 2008, The American College of Sports Medicine conducted a study to explore the average number of steps required to cover a distance at different speeds. The study analyzed the disparity in steps per distance among men and women, considering their height and pace. The study included 44 participants with varying fitness levels and heights who underwent a thorough assessment of their walking capabilities.
Based on the ACSM’s Health & Fitness study, we will see
- How many steps in 3 kilometers at different walking, jogging, and running speeds for men and women?
- How many steps in 3 kilometers of walking by height, gender, and speed?
- How Many Steps in 3 Km Running by Height and Gender?
Also, in this article, we will cover
- Is walking 3 kilometers (approximately 3937 to 4474 steps) good a day?
- How can you estimate your step length?
- Does age affect step/stride length?
- How Many Steps a Day Should You Take?
- How to increase your steps?
How Many Steps in 3 km at Different Walking, Jogging, and Running Speeds for Men and Women?
Here is a more accurate average breakdown based on various walking, jogging, and running speeds from the Health & Fitness Journal of the ACSM.
Walking 3 kilometers
|Women’s steps number||Men’s steps number|
|Easy Walk (5 km/h)/ 12 minutes per kilometer||4296||4050|
|Moderate Walk (6.5 km/h)/ 10 minutes per kilometer||3696||3474|
|When Jogging 3 kilometers||Women’s steps number||Men’s steps number|
|Light jog (8 km/h) / 7.5 minutes per kilometer||3681||3570|
|Moderate Jog (10 km/h) / 6 minutes per kilometer||3180||3042|
|When Running 3 kilometers||Women’s steps number||Men’s steps number|
|Run (12 km/h) / 5 minutes per kilometer||2733||2529|
|Fast run (16 km/h)/ 4 minutes per kilometer||2256||1980|
How Many Steps in 3 km Walking by Height, Speed, and Gender?
The average height for a woman is 5 feet 4 inches, and she will take 4314 steps to walk in 3 km at an average pace of 5 km/h and 3603 steps at a fast pace.
And the average man’s height is 5 feet 9 inches; a man of that height takes 4119 steps to walk 3 km at an average pace of 5 km/h and 3411 steps at a fast pace.
The table displays the typical number of steps that men and women, depending on their height and walking speed, need to take to walk 3 km.
|Height||Gender||Walking pace |
|Walking pace |
|Walking pace |
How Many Steps in 3 Km Running by Height and Gender?
A 5 feet 4 inches person running 3 km at 8 km/h takes 3621 steps and 2550 steps at 12 km/h.
The table displays the average number of steps required for men and women to run 3 km based on speed and height.
|Height||Running pace |
|Running pace |
|Running pace |
|Running pace |
Is Walking 3 km (Approximately 4000 Steps) Good A Day?
Yes. It is a good start for beginners. Two separate studies, one involving NHANES participants and another involving older adult women in the Women’s Health Study, have demonstrated that walking as few as approximately 4,000 steps per day can significantly decrease mortality risk by roughly 30%, compared to only taking about 2,000 steps per day. Another study found that walking at least 4,400 steps daily can lower mortality risk by 41% compared to walking fewer than 2,700 daily. It is important to note that mortality risk declines as daily walking activity increases.
How To Track the Number of Steps You Take in 3 km?
If you want to track the number of steps you take in 3 km, you can use a pedometer or a fitness tracker that has a step-counting feature. These devices can help you keep track of your daily steps, Distance walking, and other metrics related to your physical activity.
Another way to estimate the number of steps you take in 3 km is to measure your step length and calculate the number of steps it takes to cover in 3 km.
Once you know your step length, you can use it to calculate the number of steps you take in 3 km _
Number of steps = Total distance /step length
Since there are 3280.8 feet per km, and there are 39370 inches per km.
- So, 3 km equal to (3 × 3280.8) = 9843 Feet
- And 3 km equal to (3 × 39370) = 118110 inches
If you know your step length, your steps 3 km will be:
- 9843 divided by your step length in feet.
- Or 118110 divided by your step length in inches.
How To Measure Your Step Length
Let’s get down to some of the most recommended methods, but first;
Step Length Vs. Stride Length
Is there a difference between the stride length and the step length? Absolutely!
A step refers to the Distance between one foot and the other when walking or running. On the other hand, a stride is a Distance between one foot from one point to the next where the same foot lands.
1. Estimate the Step Length by Your Height
Did you know that your body height significantly determines your step length? In this case, it has been proven that short people have shorter steps, while tall people have longer steps.
So, precisely how do you estimate your step using your height? Essentially, you need both your height and sex to estimate your step length;
Men: step length = height(inches) x 0.415. For example, a man of 6 feet 2 inches or 74 inches (1 foot equals 12 inches, so 6 feet 2 inches equals: 6×12+2=74 inches) should have a step length of 74 x 0.415 =30.7 inches or 2.55 feet.
Women: step length = height(inches) x 0.413. For example, a woman of 5 feet 4 inches or 64 inches (1 foot equals 12 inches, so 5 feet 4 inches equals: 5×12+4=64 inches) should have a step length of 64 x 0.413 =26.4 inches or 2.2 feet.
The following table provides some estimations based on your height.
|Height||Gender||Step Length||Steps in 3 km|
|145 cm (4’9’’)||Male||23.7 inch (2.0 ft)||4980|
|Female||23.6 inch (2.0 ft)||5001|
|150 cm (4’11’’)||Male||24.5 inch (2.04 ft)||4818|
|Female||24.4 inch (2.03 ft)||4839|
|155 cm (5’1’’)||Male||25.3 inch (2.10 ft)||4665|
|Female||25.2 inch (2.10 ft)||4686|
|160 cm (5’3’’)||Male||26.1 inch (2.20 ft)||4524|
|Female||26.0 inch (2.20 ft)||4539|
|165 cm (5’5’’)||Male||27.0 inch (2.25 ft)||4371|
|Female||26.8 inch (2.23 ft)||4404|
|170 cm (5’7’’)||Male||27.8 inch (2.32 ft)||4245|
|Female||27.7 inch (2.30 ft)||4260|
|175 cm (5’9’’)||Male||28.6 inch (2.38 ft)||4128|
|Female||28.5 inch (2.37 ft)||4140|
|180 cm (5’11’’)||Male||29.5 inch (2.46 ft)||4002|
|Female||29.3 inch (2.44 ft)||4029|
|185 cm (6’1’’)||Male||30.3 inch (2.52 ft)||3897|
|Female||30.1 inch (2.50 ft)||3921|
|190 cm (6’3’’)||Male||31.1 inch (2.59 ft)||3795|
|Female||31.0 inch (2.58 ft)||3807|
|195 cm (6’5’’)||Male||32.0 inch (2.67 ft)||3690|
|Female||31.8 inch (2.65 ft)||3711|
2. Calculating the Average Step Length in each Distance
Here, you literally have to determine a specified distance, say 10 or 20 feet, where you can walk straight from one point to another. Here is the process;
- Measure a 20- or 10-foot Distance, mark it with a conspicuous pen or chalk, or place an object on each of the ends of the Distance.
- Next, take your normal walking steps, walking from one side of the post to the other. Ensure that you count your steps accurately.
- Then, divide the Distance by the number of steps you make to get your step length. For example, if the Distance is 20 feet and the number of steps is 8, 20/ 8 = 2.5 feet: Your step length is 2.5 feet.
3. Using a Pedometer/ App
A pedometer is one of the easiest ways to calculate your step length digitally. While it does not count your step length, it will record the Distance and the number of steps you take, which are all you need to determine your step length.
- First, put your pedometer on the part of your body, or start the pedometer on your phone and start walking with it.
- The pedometer will start calculating your Distance as well as the number of steps you take.
- Stop after walking for the Distance you intended and calculate your step length;
- Distance = 80 meters
- Steps = 92 steps
- Step length = 80/ 92 = 0.87 meters
- Convert to feet: 2.85 feet
- Therefore, your step length is 2.85 feet.
You can also input your height and weight in the pedometer to approximate your step length quicker.
Does Age Affect Step/ Stride Length?
Yes, age affects step length, with older adults at shorter strides than younger adults. However, the difference sets in so slowly that you may not realize it. Studies show that one decreases step length by 0.33% every year. This translates to only a 20% decrease in stride length from the stride at age 20 to the stride at age 80.
The Difference in Walking Steps Between Young and Senior Adults
In general, people walk from the ankles and hip joints. However, the more energy you exert on the ankles, the less strain you exert on the knee joints. Consequently, this reduces the risks of hip joint injuries and diseases.
However, as people age, the rate at which they lose their bone and muscle mass is faster than the rate of production. Research indicates that this phenomenon translates into people walking more from their hip joints as opposed to their ankles in older age.
Following the Walk from the joint is a slower step; hence people walk at shorter steps at older ages.
Do Older People Walk Slower?
Overall, older people walk slower than younger adults. After all, on average, health deteriorates over the years, while bone mass and, thus, strength start to depreciate.
However, this answer is subject to the stride length, physical fitness, and health condition.
How to Take Faster Steps in Old Age
While it is true that older adults walk slower than younger adults, you can ensure that you still walk at a steady pace using the following tips;
- Ensure that you walk more often, which helps adapt the body to the exercise.
- Other than walking, engage in strength training, mainly concentrating on the lower body to ensure endurance, strength, and muscle building.
- Eat healthy foods that are rich in calcium and magnesium, which help strengthen the joints and reduce the rate of deterioration.
- Avoid too much red meat, which is related to gout that affects joints and slows the walking pace.
- Walk whenever you can; to the store, up and down the stairs, to meet friends, to work, and more.
How Many Steps a Day Should You Take?
While aiming for 10,000 steps per day is a common goal, it may not be the most critical factor in achieving overall health and wellness. Recent research has shown that 7,500 steps per day are likely enough to reap the health benefits of regular movement, and setting a higher goal can have even more significant benefits. The key is prioritizing daily movement, linked to improved cardiovascular health, cognitive function, weight management, and more. Ultimately, the most important thing is to find a realistic and achievable goal that works for you and your lifestyle.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that taking at least 4,400 steps per day can lead to a 41 percent lower mortality rate in older women than in those taking just 2,700 steps. The benefits continue to increase until 7,500 steps. Similarly, research out of UMass Amherst shows that walking between 6,000 and 9,000 steps per day can significantly decrease the risk of cardiovascular events in adults over 60. In fact, those who walked within this step range had a 40 to 50 percent lower risk than those who only walked 2,000 steps daily.
But in 2011, a study reported that healthy adults typically take between 4,000 and 18,000 steps per day, with 10,000 steps per day being a reasonable and achievable goal for maintaining good health.
According to this study, if you’re looking to assess your physical activity levels, there are several categories that you can consider.
|Activity level||Steps per day|
|Basal Active||Less than 2,500|
|Limited Active||2,500 to 4,999|
|Low Active||5,000 to 7,499|
|Moderate Active||7,500 to 9,999|
|Active||10,000 to 12,499|
|High Active||More than 12,500|
However, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with aiming for 10,000 steps per day, it’s essential to recognize that this goal may not be realistic or achievable for many people. According to Elroy Aguiar, a senior postdoctoral research associate at the Physical Activity and Health Laboratory Department of Kinesiology at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on average, Americans only get around 5,000 to 6,500 steps per day. Therefore, setting a more realistic goal, such as 7,500 steps, is essential for achieving the daily health benefits of regular movement.
How to Increase Your Steps
You have already decided to start walking as one of your cardio exercise plans. You also accepted that you have to start with a base distance and the number of steps to build up more. Probably get to the 7500 steps? Well, there are several ways to turn this into a reality;
- Consider Walking a Distance to and From Work: Rather than driving to work, you can consider taking a cab or public transport for a long distance, then alighting a couple of kilometers from work. Increase the Distance gradually, which will help increase the steps you take walking as well. If your place of work is closer, try walking from work, and over time add walking to work to increase your step count.
- Take the Stairs Rather than the Elevator: For people who work several floors up, take this as an opportunity to increase your step count. Walk up and down the stairs instead of standing in an elevator, which adds to your fitness journey.
- Walk to the Store Rather than Order Online: Life has become so simple today that we can actually have all we need while never leaving the door of our houses. Sadly, this is all we need to increase our risk of an unfit and unhealthy life. For this reason, consider walking to grocery stores, boutiques, and supermarkets to get the stuff you need rather than waiting for a delivery. Even better, you will window-shop and walk around the store in search of preferences, further increasing the step count.
- Look for Interesting Walk Paths: While a walk is fun, it can be boring to see the same route, people, and scenery all the time. To counter this, you can identify new paths that make your walk life more enjoyable. If you have an opportunity and when it’s safe, consider pathways along the countryside, beach, and mountainside. The more interesting a walking path is, the more likely you are to walk longer.
- Count Your Steps: Have you ever realized that you feel motivated to walk more or exercise more when you actually have real figures of your progress? When walking is part of your schedule, invest in a step counter that will help you determine how many steps you take at a time or even for a day. Unsurprisingly, you will always want to do better the next time you compete against yourself.
- Turn Walking into a Hobby: If you want to take more steps than you currently do, turn the Walk into a hobby. If you love doing something, you always look forward to doing it. More than that, you will increase the time you spend doing it whenever you can.
- Choose a Walking Goal: How many steps do you wish to get to someday? Is it 10k, 15k or 20k, or even more? Cliche as it may sound, 7500 steps start with 1 step. In this case, whatever your goal is, you feel better matching closer to your goal every passing day. If yesterday you made it to 4500 steps and made 4505 steps today, you are 5 steps closer to your goal today than you were yesterday.
- Walk at a Comfortable Pace: Ensure that you always start at a pace you can sustain for as long as you intend your Walk to take. If you are comfortable with the pace, you can walk longer than you plan, and it makes it easier to increase your distance or steps over time.
Both walking and running are effective exercise methods that can significantly improve overall health and fitness. However, beginners must start with a comfortable pace and gradually increase the daily step count to prevent injury and achieve fitness goals. As the body becomes accustomed to the exercise, one can gradually increase the intensity and duration.
The number of steps to walk 3 kilometers can vary significantly, depending on various factors such as gender, height, weight, pace, terrain, and step length. On average, individuals take around 3,937 to 4,474 steps to cover 3 km of walking, while runners typically take approximately 2,800 steps. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help you achieve benefits and improve your overall well-being.
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