Running with bent elbows – the mystery continues [study]

• Most people tend to walk with their elbows slightly bent. • Most people tend to run with their elbows acutely bent. • No-one knows why. There is however, a(n) hypothesis. It’s the ‘Mechanical Tradeoff Hypothesis.’ which was descibed by Andrew K. Yegian, Yanish Tucker, Stephen Gillinov and Daniel E. Lieberman in their 2019 paper […]

Walking the walk: Are we not cats, more or less?

A new review study creeps and leaps upon a physiological resemblance of cats and humans. The study is: “We Are Upright-Walking Cats: Human Limbs as Sensory Antennae During Locomotion,” Gregory E.P. Pearcey and E. Paul Zehr, Physiology, epub 2019. The authors, at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria, explain in un-catlike […]

Photographers walking backwards – and falling over (study)

It’s a staple gag for any slapstick movie. Trying for a wider shot, a photographer walks backwards (without looking) and trips over something. Amusing perhaps, but on occasions dangerous too. Odd then, that in the academic literature on safety and ergonomics, there a very few scholarly studies of this ubiquitous syndrome. In fact, there may […]

Walk like a lizard, like a spider, close to the ground, with the newly patented Quadra Walker™

“There is no known mechanical apparatus enabling a human being to walk in a prone position, like a lizard, like a spider, close to the ground, using arms and legs as will be made possible with the Quadra Walker (QW) disclosed herein.” Its inventor, Herbert Russell Burnham of Chula Vista, California, explains in a newly […]

Robot-Trained Water Gait

Robotics are having an effect on water gait, as described in this study: “Robotic gait trainer in water: Development of an underwater gait-training orthosis,” Tasuku Miyoshi, Kazuaki Hiramatsu, Shin-Ichiro Yamamoto, Kimitaka Nakazawa, and Masami Akai, Disability and Rehabilitation, vol. 30, no. 2, 2008, pp. 81-87. The authors are at the Shibaura Institute of Technology, the […]

Further physics insight from walking backwards with coffee

“The authors derive their inspiration from an Ig Nobel prize-winning paper describing a basic mechanical model that investigates the results of walking backwards while carrying a cup of coffee.” So says the report “Mathematical model reveals solution to sloshing coffee,” in The Ig Nobel Prize-winning paper about walking backwards while carrying a cup of coffee […]

Podcast 86: Walking on feet in the city (accompanied by a bongo drum)

A scholarly study about the rhythm, rhythm, rhythm of walking, walking, walking in the city. That’s what you’ll hear about — and you’ll hear it accompanied by a bongo drum — in this week’s Improbable Research podcast. SUBSCRIBE on, iTunes, or Spotify to get a new episode every week, free. This week, Marc Abrahams discusses a study about the rhythms of walking in cities, with fluid […]