On average, men have a longer stride than women.
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If you're like most people, you've been walking since your toddler years, but have never measured the length of your steps. Using an average can help you estimate your travel distance by counting your footsteps, and is also helpful for pedometers that require stride-length input. For the most accurate data, however, try measuring your own stride -- you need only a few minutes and some measuring tape.
Stride length is measured from heel to heel and determines how far you walk with each step. On average, a man's walking stride length is 2.5 feet, or 30 inches, according to Arizona State University Extension. A woman's average stride length is 2.2 feet, or 26.4 inches, reports the school. In general, people with longer legs have a greater stride length than those with shorter legs.
Stride Versus Steps
Most people use the terms "stride" and "step" interchangeably -- and when your pedometer requests stride length, it probably wants the distance from foot to foot. Some people, however, use the term "step length" to measure from foot to foot, and "stride length" to measure from one footstep to the next footstep of the same foot. This is twice the distance of a step. Using this alternate definition, the average man's walking stride is 5 feet, or 60 inches, and the average woman's stride is 4.4 feet, or 53 inches.
Finding Your Stride
While averages can be useful, it's fairly simple to find your own stride length. One way is to walk 10 steps, measure the distance from the starting and stopping point, then divide the number by 10. For example, if you travel 290 inches in 10 steps, you average 29 inches per step, which is about 2.4 feet. Another method is to step in a puddle of water, walk 10 steps and measure the stride length between three wet steps. Average those distances to find your average stride rate. For example, if you measure 29, 30 and 31 inches per step, you have an average stride length of 30 inches.
How Far You'll Go
Stride length is useful for determining how far you'll walk in a given number of steps. At the average stride length, a man walks a mile in roughly 2,100 steps, according to the ExRx.net steps-to-distance calculator. The calculator also estimates that with the average woman's stride length, you'll walk a mile in about 2,400 steps.