How can I measure my speed when walking for fitness?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
One way to measure walking speed is to count steps per minute with a watch and pedometer. A moderate (brisk) walking speed is a safe goal for most people. Provided you're walking on level ground, you can use the following as general guidance to gauge your pace:
  • Slow = 80 steps per minute
  • Moderate (brisk) = 100 steps per minute
  • Fast = 120 steps per minute
  • Race walking = More than 120 steps per minute

One of the easiest methods will be to use some form of a GPS. This technology will be able to measure your speed.

     There are a few good options for determining your speed when walking.  If you walk along a route assessable by vehicles you can use your car to determine the distance before or after your walk.  During your walk, time the duration using your watch (the Chrono function on a sports watch is the simplest method) or even many phones have a stopwatch capability.  I use the computer on my bike to map out different running and walking paths.  These are relatively inexpensive, provide a accurate measurement, and I can have a great workout on my bike getting ready for my next run.

     One other method is to use a GPS watch giving you the most accurate information. The watch will determine duration, distance and speed and many models have software to track progress.  Combined with a heart rate monitor you can get a more comprehensive picture of your workout.  These can be expensive but are a great longterm investment helping you push yourself and track your progress.

Have a great workout!


One of the tools you can use is your phone. There are several apps for fitness trackers on phones that use GPS technology. It will track your distance and speed. It is a great tool that is free and easy to use. 

If you are interested in a walking program, perhaps you should consider purchasing a pedometer. A pedometer is a device that calculates the distance you have walked or run. Then, it converts your steps into distance by knowing the length of your stride. It is an effective way to motivate yourself into starting a walking or running program.

Also, if you know the distance that you have walked and you also know the time, you can us the following formula speed=distance/time. 


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.