Mini Stepper vs Walking

Walking is without a doubt one of the best forms of exercise there is—it’s low-impact, costs nothing, and doesn’t require any special equipment.

Even walking has its own set of drawbacks, however. For instance, not everyone has a good place to do it, and driving to a suitable spot can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

Furthermore, while it’s true that walking is a gentle activity, the level of impact and stabilization involved might still be too much for people with persistent injuries, joint issues, or strength deficiencies.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative.

The best mini stepper offers many of the same perks as walking while also being zero-impact and affording you the freedom to exercise from the comfort and privacy of your own home whenever you like.

Here’s my personal recommendation on the best mini stepper:

Sunny Health & Fitness Steppers for Exercise at Home Mini Stair Stepper with Resistance Bands Stair Cardio Workout Equipment Stair Climber Digital Monitor – NO. 012-S
  • 【ORIGINAL STEPPER】With a legacy of over 20k+ 5-star reviews, this is the perfect portable stair step machine, with its sleek and compact form, you can achieve your cardio goals anywhere, whether you’re watching TV or working at your standing desk.
  • 【FULL BODY WORKOUT】Dive into a holistic fitness routine! Engage your core, glutes, arms, and shoulders with this compact low-impact cardio training equipment. The included resistance bands ensure every part of your body gets a workout.
  • 【TRACK YOUR FITNESS】Stay informed with the LCD monitor, tracking steps, time, and calories burned. Shape your exercise regime to be more effective and aligned with your goals.

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How does the mini stepper compare to walking? The main difference between the mini stepper and walking is that although the movement is similar, you can easily increase the intensity of the workout by increasing the resistance. Doing so means you can burn more calories and increase your cardiovascular fitness.

In this blog we compare mini stepper vs walking to see which you can benefit from most.

mini stepper compared to walking

The Pros & Cons of Walking

There’s no denying that walking is good for you. In fact, most health experts agree that walking is one of the best—if not the best—ways to stay healthy. One of the standout benefits is that you can measure easily the distance you are travelling.

For example if you aim to walk a mile every day. When you track your progress you can easily increase the distance between sessions. But is it enough on its own?


Let’s start with the benefits. Among its many virtues, walking promotes:

A brisk walk stimulates the circulation of oxygen and other vital nutrients by getting your heart pumping and lungs working at a faster-than-normal rate. It’s also extremely scalable in terms of intensity, making it easy to set a pace that’s appropriate for your individual goals and level of fitness.

  • Strength & Stability

Walking requires you to support and fluidly transfer your body weight with every step. This kind of repetitive action builds and tones muscle, strengthens your joints and reinforces natural movement patterns, all of which improve your overall health and make other sorts of activities easier.

  • Weight Loss

When done consistently and with purpose, walking can burn calories, increase muscle mass, and raise your basal metabolic rate. These effects can, in turn, lead to more efficient digestion and use of nutrients within the body, two factors that play a significant role in reducing body fat.

Walking vs mini stepper

Going on a walk gives you the opportunity to slow down, clear your head, and enjoy being outside. Since it doesn’t demand the same degree of focus and exertion as other types of exercise, you can even do it while conversing with a loved one or listening to music.


No form of exercise is perfect. Though the effects of walking are overwhelmingly positive, it also presents certain complications, such as:

  • Logistical Difficulty

Assuming you don’t have a public park, greenway, or another safe place to walk near your home, you may have no choice but to drive somewhere to get your steps in for the day. Needless to say, this can eat into your time, which is already a scarce resource for many.

  • Low Fitness Ceiling

At some point, walking simply won’t be enough of a challenge for you anymore if getting in shape is one of your top priorities. And, unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to turn up the intensity of a walk without just transforming it into a different exercise altogether.

  • Lack of Stimulation

The appeal of walking tends to wear off rather quickly for some people. Since you’re more likely to stop performing activities, you don’t enjoy, getting bored means potentially missing out on everything that makes walking such a salubrious pastime.

  • Unpredictable Weather

Depending on the climate where you live, any number of meteorological conditions could ruin your walking plans, from freak downpours to dangerous heat waves. 

If you wanted to up the intensity of your walking you can purchase a treadmill. In another article we compare mini stepper and treadmills so you can decide which is best for your fitness goals.

The Pros & Cons of Using a Mini Stepper

Mini steppers find creative ways of getting around most of the walking’s inherent limitations. That said, they also have limitations of their own.

mini stepper vs walking

Are Mini Steppers Effective?

The mini stepper engages more muscles than walking which makes them an extremely effective piece of exercise equipment. Mini steppers not only mimic the basic mechanics of walking but also come with a host of unique advantages including:

  • No Impact

Similar to a mini elliptical, while using a mini stepper, your feet remain firmly in contact with the footplates at all times. You can therefore work out as much as you like without having to worry about putting unnecessary wear and tear on your joints or aggravating old injuries. Check out our detailed article looking at if the mini stepper is bad for knees.

Mini Stepper Calories

  • Increased Resistance

Mini steppers generally make it possible to adjust the amount of resistance you encounter with each step. Dialing up the resistance essentially makes every aspect of the exercise more effective, particularly when it comes to burning calories and developing lean muscle mass.

  • Open-Ended Exercise Options

Nowadays, it’s common for mini steppers to come with integrated resistance bands. The addition of bands enables you to perform a wide range of other exercises simultaneously to stepping (bicep curls, tricep extensions, upright rows, shoulder presses, lateral raises, etc.).

Sunny Health & Fitness Mini Stepper with Resistance Bands, Black

  • Compatibility With Fitness Trackers

It’s just as easy to chart your progress on a mini stepper as it is out in the wild, thanks to the fact that any pedometer will register your steps. And by keeping your pace and resistance high, you actually stand to get more out of each step than ever before.


Despite the convenience and versatility of mini steppers, some users may be put off by certain features. For example:

  • Noise

Some mini steppers make quite a bit of racket, especially when compared to the whisper-soft footfalls you’re used to when walking outdoors. You may begin to find the noise grating after a while if you use your stepper frequently.

  • Cost

Whereas walking is totally free, purchasing a mini stepper will set you back a few dollars. Even so, it’s still far more affordable than a gym membership in the long run. Besides, who can put a price on health?

  • Preliminary Assembly

Mini steppers often need assembling right out of the box. This isn’t too difficult a task, generally speaking, but it could cause some frustration if you don’t have much experience putting things together.

Is a Mini Stepper The Same as Walking? Which is better?

Arguably a mini stepper is the same as walking in that they both engage the same muscles. Whether you are climbing stairs, walking on flat ground or using a mini stepper you utilise most of the lower body muscles. Although on a mini stepper you can adjust the resistance to increase the intensity of the workout. At the same time you can also walk faster to increase the intensity of your walk. So with that in mind walking and using a mini stepper are very similar. Therefore one isn’t better than the other, its down to your own preference which movement is better.

Is Mini Stepper as Good as Walking?

It would be going too far to say that using a mini stepper is superior to walking. However, for many people, mini steppers can provide all of the major health benefits of walking with none of the hangups.

As such, they make a fantastic exercise aid for those times when you’re unable to go for a stroll.

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An ex-triathlete, fitness coach and writer with a Masters in Sports Physiology. Fitness is my passion and I've had my fair share of home fitness equipment tried and tested!