More Talking About Walking

What could be more natural than walking, right? I mean, it’s soooo easy.

Ever stop to wonder why? A few years back some Ivy League researchers came to the shocking conclusion that, when viewed from a standpoint of efficiency and minimized energy expenditure, walking is the easiest way to achieve human locomotion.  And although skipping may be a lot more fun, it turns out to be less efficient (and thus harder to sustain) than running.  Again, rather intuitive, right?  No surprises there.

What is truly awe-inspiring to The Tribe is to stop and consider how we evolved to this “natural state” of efficiency in locomotion.  Each and every step is a wonder of biomechanics:  foot strikes ground with the outer edge of the heel, twisting the shinbone slightly inward and rolling the foot inward with it to absorb the shock (and bear the weight) of your whole body.  From there, the shinbone starts twisting back outward and lifting the foot at the heel, offering just enough spring for the toes to then push your bodyweight forward and up off the ground, sending your foot swinging forward in a clean and efficient arc to repeat the cycle over and over again.  This is clearly a beatifully evolved and enormously efficient biomechanical system.

Try pondering all that (and the millions of years of bipedal locomotive evolution) the next time you go for a casual stroll.  And if anyone every criticizes you for walking instead of running, you can remind them that you are in fact operating at a level of peak efficiency that took millions of years to develop!

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