About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Ever Wondered Why Walking Involves Swinging Your Arms?

by Tanya Thomas on August 1, 2009 at 10:06 AM
Font : A-A+

 Ever Wondered Why Walking Involves Swinging Your Arms?

A practice that has long irked scientific curiosity may have been solved - why we swing our arms when we walk.

Scientists have discovered that swinging is more energy-efficient than holding them still.

Advertisement

Experts have long been baffled about why humans move the arms when strolling, since they play no obvious role in helping propel the body forward.

However, an experiment carried out by researchers in the US and Netherlands has found that the movements actually provide considerable benefits, which are hidden.
Advertisement

The study was based on the movements of 10 volunteers. They were asked to perform a series of unnatural walks under experimental conditions has shown that swinging the arms in opposition to the legs significantly increases the efficiency of walking.

Steven Collins, a biomechanical engineer at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands, said normal arm swinging while walking requires little effort and makes it easier than keeping the arms still.

"This puts to rest the theory that arm swinging is a vestigial relic from our quadrupedal ancestors," he said.

To reach the conclusion, Collins and his colleagues established an experiment where people were analysed as they walked in a variety of poses - normally with the arms swinging in opposition to each leg, with their arms at their sides either tied or held there voluntarily, or with each arm unnaturally forced to move in synchrony with each leg, reports The Independent.

From analyses, boffins discovered that arm swinging required very little effort from the shoulder muscles as the movements tended to arise naturally from the twisting movement of the body as it walked.

"Further, our results showed that normal arm swinging made walking much easier. Holding the arms at one's sides increased the effort of walking - measured by metabolic rate - by 12 per cent, which is quite a lot of walking, about the same as walking 20 per cent faster or carrying a 10 kg backpack," Collins said.

The study has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
COVID Toes
International Yoga Day 2022 - 'Yoga for Humanity'
Wearable Devices Are Now Transforming Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, and Epilepsy Management.
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Body Types and Befitting Workouts Walking for Fitness and Weight Loss Walking As An Exercise Who Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain? Surprising Health Benefits of Post-meal Walking 

Most Popular on Medindia

Daily Calorie Requirements Sanatogen Selfie Addiction Calculator Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Drug Side Effects Calculator Indian Medical Journals Drug Interaction Checker Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants The Essence of Yoga Vent Forte (Theophylline)

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use