How many Steps does it take to burn 500 calories?

It takes about 13,000-16,000 steps to burn 500 calories (kcal) on average. The exact number of steps will depend on your weight, speed, gender, and age. The range I’ve mentioned is for males (13,250 steps) and females (15,750 steps) walking briskly and having an average weight.

The table below shows the number of steps you would need depending on your gender and walking speed. These numbers were estimated, but they can provide a rough idea of how many steps you would need to burn 500 calories.

For men: (Scroll down for women)

WeightWalking speedSteps
50 kg (110 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)16,157
4 mph (6.4 km/h)15,511
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)12,464
55 kg (121 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)14,688
4 mph (6.4 km/h)14,101
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)11,331
60 kg (132 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)13,464
4 mph (6.4 km/h)12,926
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)10,387
65 kg (143 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)12,429
4 mph (6.4 km/h)11,932
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)9,588
70 kg (154 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)11,541
4 mph (6.4 km/h)11,079
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)8,903
75 kg (165 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)10,772
4 mph (6.4 km/h)10,341
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)8,309
80 kg (176 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)10,098
4 mph (6.4 km/h)9,694
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)7,790
85 kg (187 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)9,504
4 mph (6.4 km/h)9,124
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)7,332
90 kg (198 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)8,976
4 mph (6.4 km/h)8,617
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)6,925
95 kg (209 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)8,504
4 mph (6.4 km/h)8,164
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)6,560
100 kg (220 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)8,079
4 mph (6.4 km/h)7,755
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)6,232
The approximate number of steps required for males to burn 500 kcal

For women: (Scroll up for men)

WeightWalking speedSteps
50 kg (110 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)19,350
4 mph (6.4 km/h)18,576
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)14,927
55 kg (121 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)17,591
4 mph (6.4 km/h)16,888
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)13,570
60 kg (132 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)16,125
4 mph (6.4 km/h)15,480
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)12,440
65 kg (143 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)14,885
4 mph (6.4 km/h)14,290
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)11,483
70 kg (154 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)13,822
4 mph (6.4 km/h)13,269
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)10,662
75 kg (165 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)12,900
4 mph (6.4 km/h)12,384
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)9,952
80 kg (176 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)12,094
4 mph (6.4 km/h)11,610
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)9,330
85 kg (187 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)11,383
4 mph (6.4 km/h)10,927
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)8,781
90 kg (198 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)10,750
4 mph (6.4 km/h)10,320
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)8,293
95 kg (209 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)10,184
4 mph (6.4 km/h)9,777
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)7,857
100 kg (220 lb.)2.5 mph (4 km/h)9,675
4 mph (6.4 km/h)9,288
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h)7,464
The approximate number of steps required for females to burn 500 kcal

How to calculate the number of steps to burn calories

To calculate the number of steps needed to burn calories, you need to calculate the calories burned per minute and the number of steps in a given distance.

I used the metabolic equivalent of tasks (MET) for walking (Source) to calculate the calories burned per minute:

Energy consumption (kcal) per minute = MET × Body Weight (kg) × 0.0175

I then used the number of steps in a km with the average walking speeds to find the number of steps it takes to burn 500 calories.

Going faster reduces the number of steps needed to burn the same calories. Running burns more calories per minute, so it takes a shorter distance and therefore fewer steps.

Bodyweight also has a significant effect. If you weigh more, you use more energy to move your body, taking fewer steps to burn a set amount of calories. As you lose weight, you’ll have to walk longer distances to expend the same amount of energy.

For an easy way of measuring your steps, try a simple pedometer.

What is walking pace?

Walking pace is the speed at which you walk. You can measure it by dividing the walking distance by the walking time:

Pace = Distance / Time

If you walked 1 mile in 15 minutes, your pace is 1 mile / 0.25 hours = 4 mph.

If you walked 1.5 kilometers in 15 minutes, your pace is 1.5 km / 0.25 hours = 6 km/h.

I made a table of paces for the most common distances and times (in both miles and kilometers)

Walking pace for distances in miles: (Scroll down for kilometers)

Distance (miles)Time (minutes)Pace (mph)
Walking pace for different distances (miles) and times (minutes)

Walking pace for distances in kilometers: (Scroll up for miles)

Distance (km)Time (minutes)Pace (km/h)
Walking pace for different distances (km) and times (minutes)

Is “number of steps” a good measure of calories burned?

The number of steps is not the best way of measuring how many calories you burn while walking. Tracking your distance and pace is more accurate.

However, if you’re walking outside and have no way of tracking your pace, counting the number of steps you took provides a reasonable estimate.

If you want to improve this estimate, consider looking up the distance you plan to walk before leaving your house and then time your walk. When you’re back home, calculate your pace and then use the following formula to estimate your energy consumption:

Energy consumption (kcal) = MET × Body Weight (kg) × Minutes × 0.0175

Energy consumption (kcal) = MET × Body Weight (lb) × Minutes × 0.008

For the metabolic equivalent of tasks (MET) value, use this table: (Source)

Walking activityMET
Less than 2 mph (3.2 km/h), level, strolling, very slow2.0
2.5 mph (4 km/h), level, firm surface3.0
2.8-3.2 mph (4.5-5.2 km/h), level, moderate pace, firm surface3.5
4 mph (6.4 km/h), level, firm surface, very brisk pace5.0
4.5 mph (7.2 km/h), level, firm surface, very, very brisk7.0
5 mph (8 km/h), level, firm surface8.3
Metabolic equivalent of tasks for walking

Is it better to walk faster or longer?

If your goal is to burn more calories and you have limited time, walking faster is better. It allows you to burn more calories when getting some exercise during your busy day. For an average person, a 15-minute walk at a very brisk pace of 4 mph (6.4 km/h) is equivalent (calorie-wise) to a 38-minute walk at a slow pace of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).

Notice that although the slower speed is half of the faster one, it takes more than double the time to burn the same calories. This is because going faster always uses more energy than walking slower, even if you cover the same distance.

If you have enough time, walking longer might be better for you. It is easier to walk longer distances than to run them faster. It also minimizes your chances of getting injured (Source) and allows you to avoid getting sweaty before you reach your destination. Keep in mind that doctors recommend you regularly do some high-intensity activities to improve your cardiovascular health. Mixing slower walks with longer ones during your week might be the best option.

Why is walking a sustainable activity?

Walking is better for the environment, easy for everyone, and requires no other equipment.

Choosing to walk to school or work instead of driving reduces your carbon footprint. According to the EPA, an average car emits about 404 grams of CO2 per mile (251 grams per kilometer). A roundtrip of 10 miles (16 km) each way would cut 8 kg of CO2 emissions from your daily commute.

Walking is also easy, no matter what your fitness level is. Almost everyone can walk for 20-30 minutes without getting tired. Whether you’re young or old doesn’t make a lot of difference. Running or cycling, on the other hand, is not for everyone.

You do not need any equipment or clothing when you decide to walk. For example, you’ll need running shoes if you want to run to work. You’ll also need a bicycle if you’re going to cycle. Walking is more sustainable because you do not need to prepare for it, allowing you to walk whenever. Walking is a more sustainable habit and method of commuting in the long run.