How Many Miles Did Early Humans Walk In A Day?

How Many Miles Did Early Humans Walk In A Day?

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Today we are very obsessed with how many steps we take each day. Like me, many of you may have an app or smartwatch that helps you track how many steps you took in a day or how much physical activity you did

The early humans did not have smartwatches to help them keep track of their steps; they were hunters and gatherers who walked to hunt and gather food for survival. If you look at some professions today that require much walking as a waitress, we can suppose that the early humans had to walk at least 10 to 12 miles per day.

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Early humans did not have the luxury to sit around and do nothing; they did not have the luxury to have a sedentary lifestyle. The early humans had to be able to hunt and gather food for themselves and their families.

The Lifestyle of Early Humans

The early humans were hunters and gatherers. This meant that they needed to spend their days hunting or fishing for their food and then gather other food they could eat, like nuts, fruits, and berries.

Research has found that in societies that were hunters and gatherers, men tended to walk more than women. This is because the men hunt or walk to find food all day. The women usually do chores around the house, such as gathering fruits, nuts, and berries.

Once the early humans stopped being hunters and gatherers and settled down to grow their own food, they would have had to spend a lot of time walking on their farms. They many times plowed their fields by hand.

This meant that early humans physically moved a lot; they were not sitting around their houses. Their movement was not exercising like we go out on a walk, but they moved as a matter of survival.

Miles Per Day Early Humans Walked

It is hard to know exactly how many miles early humans walked in a day. Still, looking at some different professions and how many people walk in different professions helps us understand how many miles in a day they could have walked.

For example, in the chart below, you can see that professionals such as waiters and waitresses, and nurses walk much more than working in an office. This is simply because most of these professions require that they are on their feet moving.

Average Steps Per Profession

OccupationAverage steps per dayMiles/Kilometers
Waiter22,77810.78 miles/ 17.36 km
Nurse16,3907.76 miles/ 12.49 km
Retail worker14,6606.94 miles/ 11.17 km
Farmer14,0376.65 miles/ 10.69 km
Stay-at-home parent13,8136.54 miles/ 10.52 km
Teacher12,5645.94 miles/ 9.57 km
Tradesperson11,5855.48 miles/ 8.82 km
Hairdresser9,2094.36 miles/ 7.01 km
Office worker7,5703.58 miles/ 5.76 km
Call center associate6,6183.13 miles/ 5.04 km
Healthline Data

I would estimate that the early humans walked at least as much on average as a waiter does today and probably more. This means they probably took enough steps to walk between 10 to 11 miles daily. Of course, some days, they probably walked more, and others would have walked less.

But the main point is that they were constantly moving about and not sitting around watching TV or working on a computer. To eat and survive, they had to move.

Average Walking Steps Per Country

It is also interesting to see what the average steps are per country. Hong Kong consistently gets the number one place with 6880 steps. I have lived in Hong Kong, and I can tell you that it would be usual for me to do 10 to 15,000 steps per day when I lived there.

In Hong Kong, almost everyone takes public transportation. Even if you have a car, parking your car or finding a space to park your car is very expensive. Public transportation is very convenient and easy to use. But it also requires that you do a lot of walking.

I have lived in China, and in China, people are again taking public transportation. Even though lately in China there have been more cars, many people will take public transportation or walk to the store or walk to do some of their daily needs.

When I arrive at the airport in Guangzhou, I will usually need to walk at least a mile or more to get to the car I have been waiting. This is one reason a country like China is consistently second in the world for walking.

The United States is ranked 30th in the world. Almost all the European countries are ahead of us. This is because Europeans tend to take more public transportation and walk more than we do. If you’ve ever traveled to Europe, you know that it can require a lot of walking while taking public transportation.

The countries at the bottom of the scale are Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. I would assume that this would be because many people there are either driving cars or riding a motorcycle.

I know that living in Vietnam, I ride a motorbike, so you don’t really do much walking. You park your motorbike you walk into a place, do your shopping, and come out. This is similar to the lifestyle that many have in America and why our steps are so few compared to places like Hong Kong.

CountryAverage StepsMiles/Km
Hong Kong
(1st In the world)
6,8803.25 miles / 5.24 km
(2nd In the world)
6,1892.93 miles / 4.71 km
(30th in the world)
4,7742.26 miles / 3.63 km
Mexico4,6922.22 miles / 3.57 km
Malaysia 3,9631.87 miles / 3.02 km
Saudi Arabia 3,8071.80 miles / 2.90 km
Indonesia 3,5131.66 miles / 2.67 km
Country – Average Steps

Early Humans – Their Miles and Health

Because these early humans did not lead a sedentary lifestyle, if they were alive today, they would be healthier than most of us. This is because they would be eating whole foods, no sugar, processed foods, and moving and walking a lot throughout their daily lives.

They would also have the advantages of modern medicine would ensure they lived a long healthy life.

What would kill the early humans was not the lack of walking but the diseases or the health care they had to die of things that day no one would hardly die off. They did not have the medicine and the medical technology we have today.

The early humans would certainly be much healthier than most of us because they would have moved much more than any of us in an average day.

So next time we feel so good about the 10,000 steps we took today, member these early humans who probably did at least double that each day. This is because our early ancestors had to get up ad move each day to survive.

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Content Resources

Steps data – Healthline

Daily step counts: Which countries are most active – and which are least?

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The Conquer Virtual Challenge, also known as My Virtual Mission, is an online platform that allows you to travel the world as you log miles virtually you have traveled (usually through swimming, hiking, biking, cycling, running, rowing, elliptical, walking, or even in a wheelchair). It is a great way to stay motivated and exercise while logging your miles to see other parts of the world virtually.

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One response to “How Many Miles Did Early Humans Walk In A Day?”

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