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. 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. 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 << Drug Alternative Childhood Leukemia Chemo Developed Malaria Vaccine In Human Trials Stage >> Recommended Reading Let Kids Walk To School – To Combat Obesity Flaunting your cars does no good to you folks. Ask your children to walk their way to the school. That is a definite way of combating obesity, says an Australian expert. READ MORE Regular Walk and Moderate Exercise Help Prevent Dementia Regular walk and a moderate exercise can lower an elderly person's risk of developing vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease READ MORE Paraplegics can Walk Using Robot Legs An Indian-origin engineer in Israel has developed a device that can restore movement to paralysed people. READ MORE Body Types and Befitting Workouts Workout and diet which is well suited for a pear shaped body. READ MORE Walking As An Exercise People walk for many reasons ranging from pleasure to mental relaxation, finding solitude or for exercise. READ MORE Walking for Fitness and Weight Loss A few extra steps a day are enough to keep you fit. READ MORE Who Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain? Walking early morning would improve your health as it helps heart and brain to function properly. Find more about its benefits for your body. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Find a Doctor A-Z Drug Brands in India More News on: Body Types and Befitting WorkoutsWalking for Fitness and Weight LossWalking As An ExerciseWho Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain?