How to measure your steps if you don’t have a pedometer or fitness tracker


Sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity is one of the top factors (along with smoking, high alcohol consumption, and obesity) that strongly reduces life expectancy and health-related quality of life.

This is why 3 of the tasks in our 30-Day Healthy Habits Challenge involve walking (Day 2 is 6,000 steps, Day 10 is 8,000 steps, and Day 18 is 10,000 steps – along with a bunch of other cool habits to help you eat, move, think, or sleep better on a daily basis).

If you have a handy fitness tracker from the likes of Jawbone (get a 10% Sleekgeek discount), Withings, Fitbit, Nike, Garmin, Polar, etc, then that is great. We are sure you agree that these are awesome tools to help you be more mindful of how much you walk on a daily basis and that they help to “gamify” such a healthy habit so that it is more fun and interesting.

However, many people ask us “What should they do if they do not have a fitness tracker (or a smartphone with a built-in pedometer)?”

Well, ideally your walking should be spread out throughout the day, but you can go for a few purposeful 10/20/30/60 minute walks if you want to get your steps up and be less sedentary.

The average person walking at a brisk and determined pace can expect to walk these number of steps based on distance and time walked:

Steps Distance Walked Time Spent Walking
1,000 0.8km 10 minutes
2,000 1.6km 20 minutes
3,000 2.4km 30 minutes
4,000 3.2km 40 minutes
5,000 4km 50 minutes
6,000 4.8km 1 hour
7,000 5.6km 1 hour 10 minutes
8,000 6.4km 1 hour 20 minutes
9,000 7.2km 1 hour 30 minutes
10,000 8km 1 hour 40 minutes

If you want to save / print a copy of this table for quick reference, you can download this image here.