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Do Treadmills Measure Distance in Miles?

Access

    Every treadmill's display is a little different, but most have some type of display screen that helps you track important information about your workout. To see the distance you've run, press the "Distance" button on your treadmill's display, or press "Display" to toggle between display options that might include speed, tiime, calories and distance.

Miles or Kilometers?

    If your treadmill has only a basic display, it might list only a simple number within the window, for example "01.01." If the letter "M" follows the number, that likely stands for miles. If a "K" or "KM" follows the number, that likely stands for kilometers. If no letter is displayed, consult the treadmill's owner's manual to find out what unit is displayed there. Another clue is where the treadmill was purchased. If you bought the treadmill in the United States, there's a good chance it's set to U.S. standard units of measurement, and the distance will be displayed in miles. If you're using a treadmill in Canada, Europe or nearly anywhere besides the United States, chances are the distance is measured in kilometers, in keeping with the use of the metric system in that country.

Changing Measurements

    Some models might display the distance in miles, then display the distance in kilometers, one after the other. Commercial units, or private units with a more complicated display system, might also allow you to choose your standard of measurement when you set up the treadmill. Check the unit's owner's manual for instructions on changing between the two types of measurements.

Testing

    If you're not able to locate an owner's manual or online information about the treadmill you're using, you could test the distance to find out once and for all. Wear a pedometer and then walk or jog long enough for the "Distance" marker to get to 1.0. Then check your pedometer. If the pedometer shows you've walked 1 mile, you'll know your treadmill is displaying distance in miles. If it's showing distance in kilometers, the reading on your pedometer will be around 0.67 miles, representing two thirds of a mile.

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About the Author

Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.

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