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Fitness Articles  ›  SparkPeople Workouts

The 1-Mile Walking Test

A DIY Fitness Assessment

-- By Jason Anderson and Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainers
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Scoring: Here are the age-adjusted standards (listed in minutes and seconds) for men and women, which are based on information collected from the Cooper Institute, American Council on Exercise and other sources.

Ratings for Men, Based on Age

Age 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Excellent <11:54 <12:24 <12:54 <13:24 <14:06 <15:06
Good 11:54-13:00 12:24-13:30 12:54-14:00 13:24-14:24 14:06-15:12 15:06-15:48
Average 13:01-13:42 13:31-14:12 14:01-14:42 14:25-15:12 15:13-16:18 15:49-18:48
Fair 13:43-14:30 14:13-15:00 14:43-15:30 15:13-16:30 16:19-17:18 18:49-20:18
Poor >14:30 >15:00 >15:30 >16:30 >17:18 >20:18

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

Age 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70+
Excellent <13:12 <13:42 <14:12 <14:42 <15:06 <18:18
Good 13:12-14:06 13:42-14:36 14:12-15:06 14:42-15:36 15:06-16:18 18:18-20:00
Average 14:07-15:06 14:37-15:36 15:07-16:06 15:37-17:00 16:19-17:30 20:01-21:48
Fair 15:07-16:30 15:37-17:00 16:07-17:30 17:01-18:06 17:31-19:12 21:49-24:06
Poor >16:30 >17:00 >17:30 >18:06 >19:12 >24:06

Maybe you’ll find that you’re doing really well. But even if you weren't able to register on the chart, that's OK. Everyone starts somewhere! Just try to improve gradually over time from where you started. Remember, you are looking for improvement in yourself, regardless of what a chart says or how well someone else does.

How to improve: To improve your scores on this test, develop a regular cardio (aerobic) exercise routine and stick to it. Increase your intensity and duration gradually and you'll boost your endurance over time. Use the SparkPeople resources below for more tips to improve your aerobic fitness.

This will build a good aerobic base and over time, your heart will become more efficient which means that it will be able to do the same amount of work without working as hard. If your exercise of choice is walking, think about incorporating a little bit of higher intensity intervals, such as hills or light jogging.

How to know its working: When you're done testing, you can track your results on SparkPeople to keep track of your progress! Over time, you should be able to walk faster without getting as tired. Retest yourself at least twice a year.

This test is a great tool to see how you are doing. If you don’t score as well as you like, just remember to focus on improving your own scores periodically. As long as you are improving, your fitness plan is working. If you find you aren’t making the progress that you feel you should be seeing, it may be time to change your workout routine.

American Council on Exercise. 2003. ACE Personal Trainer Manual, Third Edition. San Diego: American Council on Exercise.
Fitness Testing,
One-Mile Fitness Calculator, American Heart Association
One Mile Timed Walk, Real Simple
One Mile Walk Test, Sunflower Wellness
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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

Member Comments

  • This seems a little skewed, I'm in the 30-39 range. I walk about a 16 minute mile, I run about a 9:30; 8:40 on a sprint and pushing hard, I do cross fit 4 days a week and run 4 days a week...I think I'm in better shape than that range given. - 1/23/2014 4:52:53 PM
  • I''m a bit confused too.
    Is it alowed to run too?
    Cause I simply can not walk that fast, cause my legs are too short.
    So walking takes me 16,4 minutes - I'm 40 and running 14.
    - 1/19/2014 2:35:56 AM
  • Jerico - you have to add it in as an extra measurement on the Weight & Other Measurements reports page. Wish I'd done it when I started this weight loss in Sept last. Oh well, I've always been fit enough. - 8/5/2013 12:57:36 PM
    I'm confused about this chart. Can you run, too, or is it just walking? If I can run at least a mile in under the time limit, does that automatically place me in the "excellent" catergory? - 7/10/2013 5:51:25 PM
    I am not in agreement with this. I may do a 22 minute mile, but at 52 and obees, I think I am doing very very well indeed to be able to walk 16 miles in a day. Distance counts too, not only speed. Boo !!!!! - 7/1/2013 10:59:48 AM
  • This is great information to use in planning my fitness for the day. Thanks Spark People. - 6/25/2013 4:16:39 PM
  • I feel that these charts are very discouraging to anyone who has any kind of medical condition. I am 61 years old, have had anterior compartment syndrome for almost 20 years (caused by trying to speed walk) and just had triple by-pass surgery in the last six months. Prior to surgery, I had been walking an hour to an hour and a half a day for the last eight years. I consider myself in good condition, but according to these charts I am in poor condition. Fiddlesticks!!!! All the more power to everyone who is in excellent condition, but these charts do not factor in many elements - and I am glad to see other comments about us short females. (5'3" here). It DOES make a difference. My theory is that any exercise is better than none, and no matter if you walk a mile in 15 minutes or 20+ minutes you are still doing your body good! - 6/24/2013 7:06:40 PM
  • Great read! This helps me a lot. I have been walking a mile everyday. I am at 18 minutes right now but I'm getting better. - 6/21/2013 7:48:07 PM
    I was kind of shocked at my results. I'm 54 and I walk every day about 3-4 miles at what I THOUGHT was a pretty rapid pace. Since its getting warmer outside and I read this article today I decided to do this on the treadmill at the gym. 16 minutes! I would have said under 15. Well, this gives me something to work on/towards!

    Keep on walking my friends :-) - 6/21/2013 6:17:50 PM
  • I am 5'6 female ( i was 40 at the time)
    At my fittest walking - I walked my fastest half marathon ( 14 miles) at a speed of 11:00 minute miles. I was race walking at the time - which put me in the above excellent for men.

    At 48 - I currently walk at 13 and a half minute mile but hardly race walk as it is very hard on the body - Also much harder carrying an extra 30 kilos. However when I get my weight down I might try again.

    - 6/21/2013 4:57:38 PM
  • I always track my time when I walk the track to see how long it take me. - 6/21/2013 10:04:22 AM
  • My speed is more limited by my arthritic knees than by my cardiovascular system. - 6/21/2013 8:43:59 AM
  • After reading this I was upset with myself because my mile walks are about 16 minutes...which is average for my age. Finally realized that the mile that I walk is very hilly! No wonder it is taking me longer...I need to find a track or some other flat route to test myself on! - 6/14/2013 9:34:37 AM
  • I do not see the option to track a 1 mile walk on my fitness tracker page. - 4/14/2013 9:27:41 AM
  • Tublady - Wow - You are my inspiration this week! - 3/3/2013 9:19:23 PM
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