Do Treadmills Measure Distance in Miles?

Men and woman exercising on treadmill in gym, side view

Some people run on the treadmill with only a goal of running for a certain number of minutes; others set a goal to run a certain number of miles before quitting. If you're the second type of person, you'll naturally want your treadmill to track your distance. Treadmills tend to display the distance you've run or walked in either kilometers or miles -- or sometimes both.


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.


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.