Brooklyn College
City University of New York

The sketch at the right shows five foot steps made by a person walking normally. Right steps are indicated by an "R", and left steps by an "L". A pace is defined as one forward step. Starting on your right foot, a pace occurs when your left foot hits the ground. If you start on your left foot, a pace ocurs when your right foot comes down.

Pace Length may be defined as the spacing between a left and right step, as noted in the figure. In measuring pace length one uses equivalent points in the two footprints (toe to toe in the sketch).

Stride Length may be defined as the spacing between successive steps made by the same foot. Starting on the right foot, as in the figure, your next step is with your left, and the next one after that is with the right again. The distance between your two right footprints is stride length. Notice that stride length is twice pace length.

How to Find Your Pace Length:   The best, i.e. most accurate, way of measuring pace length is to count the number of paces needed to travel a specified distance. This may be readily done by taking a tape measure and marking off at least 30m on a flat unobstructed surface - a sidewalk, parking lot, or playground will do. Then with a normal walking gait, walk from one end of the marked course to the other, counting paces as you go. When finished, divide the total number of paces into the total distance. This will give you the average length of each pace taken. Do this 5 times, each time finding your average pace length. At the conclusion of your fifth test, total your 5 pace length figures, and divide by 5 to get a final value for average pace length. Your stride length will be twice that figure. A data table that you can use to record your pacing data is reproduced on page 3. Make a hard copy of it to use when doing your pacing.
If you prefer, you can determine your pace length right on the BC Quadrangle - and without the need for tape measures. The sketch at right is an overhead view of the center of the quadrangle. The concrete sidewalk in front of Boylan Hall is shown as the pale yellow area at the top of the sketch. The concrete sidewalk in front of Ingersoll Hall is shown at the bottom. The double macadam walkways running across the Quad are shaded gray in the sketch. The Quad's other walkways are not shown. The distance from the Boylan sidewalk to the Ingersoll sidewalk is 50m. All you need do is start at one side of the Quadrangle (green point in sketch) and pace to the other side (opposite green point).

NOTE BENE: Don't forget to email your results to your lab instructor by the due date indicated in the lab #4 webpage.