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Computer simulation of a human walk cycle. In this model the head keeps the same level at all times, whereas the hip follows a sine curve. CGI Human Walk.jpg
Computer simulation of a human walk cycle. In this model the head keeps the same level at all times, whereas the hip follows a sine curve.

Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gaits of terrestrial locomotion among legged animals. Walking is typically slower than running and other gaits. Walking is defined by an 'inverted pendulum' gait in which the body vaults over the stiff limb or limbs with each step. This applies regardless of the usable number of limbs—even arthropods, with six, eight, or more limbs, walk. [1]


Difference from running

Racewalkers at the World Cup Trials in 1987 1987WorldCupTrials.jpg
Racewalkers at the World Cup Trials in 1987

The word walk is descended from the Old English wealcan "to roll". In humans and other bipeds, walking is generally distinguished from running in that only one foot at a time leaves contact with the ground and there is a period of double-support. In contrast, running begins when both feet are off the ground with each step. This distinction has the status of a formal requirement in competitive walking events. For quadrupedal species, there are numerous gaits which may be termed walking or running, and distinctions based upon the presence or absence of a suspended phase or the number of feet in contact any time do not yield mechanically correct classification. [2] The most effective method to distinguish walking from running is to measure the height of a person's centre of mass using motion capture or a force plate at midstance. During walking, the centre of mass reaches a maximum height at midstance, while running, it is then at a minimum. This distinction, however, only holds true for locomotion over level or approximately level ground. For walking up grades above 10%, this distinction no longer holds for some individuals. Definitions based on the percentage of the stride during which a foot is in contact with the ground (averaged across all feet) of greater than 50% contact corresponds well with identification of 'inverted pendulum' mechanics and are indicative of walking for animals with any number of limbs, although this definition is incomplete. [2] Running humans and animals may have contact periods greater than 50% of a gait cycle when rounding corners, running uphill or carrying loads.

Speed is another factor that distinguishes walking from running. Although walking speeds can vary greatly depending on many factors such as height, weight, age, terrain, surface, load, culture, effort, and fitness, the average human walking speed at crosswalks is about 5.0 kilometres per hour (km/h), or about 1.4 meters per second (m/s), or about 3.1 miles per hour (mph). Specific studies have found pedestrian walking speeds at crosswalks ranging from 4.51 kilometres per hour (2.80 mph) to 4.75 kilometres per hour (2.95 mph) for older individuals and from 5.32 kilometres per hour (3.31 mph) to 5.43 kilometres per hour (3.37 mph) for younger individuals; [3] [4] a brisk walking speed can be around 6.5 kilometres per hour (4.0 mph). [5] In Japan, the standard measure for walking distance is 80 meters for 1 minute of walking time or 4.8 km/h. Champion racewalkers can average more than 14 kilometres per hour (8.7 mph) over a distance of 20 kilometres (12 mi).

An average human child achieves independent walking ability at around 11 months old. [6]

Health benefits

Regular, brisk exercise of any kind can improve confidence, stamina, energy, weight control and life expectancy and reduces stress. [7] It can also decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, bowel cancer and osteoporosis. [7] Scientific studies have also shown that walking, besides its physical benefits, is also beneficial for the mind, improving memory skills, learning ability, concentration, mood, and abstract reasoning. [7] Sustained walking sessions for a minimum period of thirty to sixty minutes a day, five days a week, with the correct walking posture, [8] reduce health risks and have various overall health benefits, such as reducing the chances of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, anxiety disorder and depression. [9] Life expectancy is also increased even for individuals suffering from obesity or high blood pressure. Walking also improves bone health, especially strengthening the hip bone, and lowering the harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and raising the useful high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. [7] Studies have found that walking may also help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's. [10]

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's fact sheet on the "Relationship of Walking to Mortality Among U.S. Adults with Diabetes" states that those with diabetes who walked for 2 or more hours a week lowered their mortality rate from all causes by 39 percent. Women who took 4,500 steps to 7,500 steps a day seemed to have fewer premature deaths compared to those who only took 2,700 steps a day. [11] "Walking lengthened the life of people with diabetes regardless of age, sex, race, body mass index, length of time since diagnosis and presence of complications or functional limitations." [12] It has been suggested that there is a relationship between the speed of walking and health, and that the best results are obtained with a speed of more than 2.5 mph (4 km/h). [13]

Governments now recognize the benefits of walking for mental and physical health and are actively encouraging it. This growing emphasis on walking has arisen because people walk less nowadays than previously. In the UK, a Department of Transport report [14] found that between 1995/97 and 2005 the average number of walk trips per person fell by 16%, from 292 to 245 per year. Many professionals in local authorities and the NHS are employed to halt this decline by ensuring that the built environment allows people to walk and that there are walking opportunities available to them. Professionals working to encourage walking come mainly from six sectors: health, transport, environment, schools, sport and recreation, and urban design.

One program to encourage walking is "The Walking the Way to Health Initiative", organized by the British walkers association The Ramblers, which is the largest volunteer led walking scheme in the United Kingdom. Volunteers are trained to lead free Health Walks from community venues such as libraries and doctors' surgeries. The scheme has trained over 35,000 volunteers and has over 500 schemes operating across the UK, with thousands of people walking every week. [15] A new organization called "Walk England" launched a web site in June 2008 to provide these professionals with evidence, advice, and examples of success stories of how to encourage communities to walk more. The site has a social networking aspect to allow professionals and the public to ask questions, post news and events, and communicate with others in their area about walking, as well as a "walk now" option to find out what walks are available in each region. Similar organizations exist in other countries and recently a "Walking Summit" was held in the United States. This "assembl[ed] thought-leaders and influencers from business, urban planning and real estate, [along with] physicians and public health officials", and others, to discuss how to make American cities and communities places where "people can and want to walk". [16] Walking is more prevalent in European cities that have dense residential areas mixed with commercial areas and good public transportation. [17]


A walking hamster.

It is theorized that "walking" among tetrapods originated underwater with air-breathing fish that could "walk" underwater, giving rise (potentially with vertebrates like Tiktaalik ) [18] to the plethora of land-dwelling life that walk on four or two limbs. [19] While terrestrial tetrapods are theorised to have a single origin, arthropods and their relatives are thought to have independently evolved walking several times, specifically in insects, myriapods, chelicerates, tardigrades, onychophorans, and crustaceans. [20] Little skates, members of the demersal fish community, can propel themselves by pushing off the ocean floor with their pelvic fins, using neural mechanisms which evolved as early as 420 million years ago, before vertebrates set foot on land. [21] [22]

Judging from footprints discovered on a former shore in Kenya, it is thought possible that ancestors of modern humans were walking in ways very similar to the present activity as many as 3 million years ago. [23] [24]


Nordic walkers Nordic Walkers near Ilkley 020.JPG
Nordic walkers
Free heels are a defining characteristic of ski touring Wdomenada2003b.jpg
Free heels are a defining characteristic of ski touring


Human Walking Cycle Muybridge human male walking animated.gif
Human Walking Cycle

Human walking is accomplished with a strategy called the double pendulum. During forward motion, the leg that leaves the ground swings forward from the hip. This sweep is the first pendulum. Then the leg strikes the ground with the heel and rolls through to the toe in a motion described as an inverted pendulum. The motion of the two legs is coordinated so that one foot or the other is always in contact with the ground. The process of walking recovers approximately sixty per cent of the energy used due to pendulum dynamics and ground reaction force. [32] [33]

Walking differs from a running gait in a number of ways. The most obvious is that during walking one leg always stays on the ground while the other is swinging. In running there is typically a ballistic phase where the runner is airborne with both feet in the air (for bipedals).

Another difference concerns the movement of the centre of mass of the body. In walking the body "vaults" over the leg on the ground, raising the centre of mass to its highest point as the leg passes the vertical, and dropping it to the lowest as the legs are spread apart. Essentially kinetic energy of forward motion is constantly being traded for a rise in potential energy. This is reversed in running where the centre of mass is at its lowest as the leg is vertical. This is because the impact of landing from the ballistic phase is absorbed by bending the leg and consequently storing energy in muscles and tendons. In running there is a conversion between kinetic, potential, and elastic energy.

There is an absolute limit on an individual's speed of walking (without special techniques such as those employed in speed walking) due to the upwards acceleration of the centre of mass during a stride – if it's greater than the acceleration due to gravity the person will become airborne as they vault over the leg on the ground. Typically, however, animals switch to a run at a lower speed than this due to energy efficiencies.

Based on the 2D inverted pendulum model of walking, there are at least five physical constraints that place fundamental limits on walking like an inverted pendulum. [34] These constraints are: take-off constraint, sliding constraint, fall-back constraint, steady-state constraint, high step-frequency constraint.

Leisure activity

Hiking with full packs. 0 15e16 17027a85 orig.jpg
Hiking with full packs.

Many people enjoy walking as a recreation in the mainly urban modern world, and it is one of the best forms of exercise. [35] For some, walking is a way to enjoy nature and the outdoors; and for others the physical, sporting and endurance aspect is more important.

There are a variety of different kinds of walking, including bushwalking, racewalking, beach walking, hillwalking, volksmarching, Nordic walking, trekking, dog walking and hiking. Some people prefer to walk indoors on a treadmill, or in a gym, and fitness walkers and others may use a pedometer to count their steps. Hiking is the usual word used in Canada, the United States and South Africa for long vigorous walks; similar walks are called tramps in New Zealand, or hill walking or just walking in Australia, the UK and the Irish Republic. Australians also bushwalk. In English-speaking parts of North America, the term walking is used for short walks, especially in towns and cities. Snow shoeing is walking in snow; a slightly different gait is required compared with regular walking.


In terms of tourism, the possibilities range from guided walking tours in cities, to organized trekking holidays in the Himalayas. In the UK the term walking tour also refers to a multi-day walk or hike undertaken by a group or individual. Well-organized systems of trails exist in many other European counties, as well as Canada, United States, New Zealand, and Nepal. Systems of lengthy waymarked walking trails now stretch across Europe from Norway to Turkey, Portugal to Cyprus. [36] Many also walk the traditional pilgrim routes, of which the most famous is El Camino de Santiago, The Way of St. James.

Numerous walking festivals and other walking events take place each year in many countries. The world's largest multi-day walking event is the International Four Days Marches Nijmegen in the Netherlands. The "Vierdaagse" (Dutch for "Four day Event") is an annual walk that has taken place since 1909; it has been based at Nijmegen since 1916. Depending on age group and category, walkers have to walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometers each day for four days.[ citation needed ] Originally a military event with a few civilians, it now is a mainly civilian event. Numbers have risen in recent years, with over 40,000 now taking part, including about 5,000 military personnel.[ citation needed ] Due to crowds on the route, since 2004 the organizers have limited the number of participants. In the U.S., there is the annual Labor Day walk on Mackinac Bridge, Michigan, which draws over 60,000 participants; it is the largest single-day walking event;[ citation needed ] while the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Walk in Maryland draws over 50,000 participants each year.[ citation needed ] There are also various walks organised as charity events, with walkers sponsored for a specific cause. These walks range in length from two miles (3 km) or five km to 50 miles (80 km). The MS Challenge Walk is an 80 km or 50-mile walk which raises money to fight multiple sclerosis, while walkers in the Oxfam Trailwalker cover 100 km or 60 miles.


In Britain, The Ramblers, a registered charity, is the largest organisation that looks after the interests of walkers, with some 100,000 members. [37] Its "Get Walking Keep Walking" project provides free route guides, led walks, as well as information for people new to walking. [38] The Long Distance Walkers Association in the UK is for the more energetic walker, and organizes lengthy challenge hikes of 20 or even 50 miles (30 to 80 km) or more in a day. The LDWA's annual "Hundred" event, entailing walking 100 miles or 160 km in 48 hours, takes place each British Spring Bank Holiday weekend. [39]


Gauchetiere Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Gauchetiere Street, pedestrian section (take 2), Montreal 2005-10-21.JPG
Gauchetière Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

There has been a recent focus among urban planners in some communities to create pedestrian-friendly areas and roads, allowing commuting, shopping and recreation to be done on foot. The concept of walkability has arisen as a measure of the degree to which an area is friendly to walking. Some communities are at least partially car-free, making them particularly supportive of walking and other modes of transportation. In the United States, the active living network is an example of a concerted effort to develop communities more friendly to walking and other physical activities.

An example of such efforts to make urban development more pedestrian friendly is the pedestrian village. This is a compact, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood or town, with a mixed-use village center, that follows the tenets of New Pedestrianism. [40] [41] Shared-use lanes for pedestrians and those using bicycles, Segways, wheelchairs, and other small rolling conveyances that do not use internal combustion engines. Generally, these lanes are in front of the houses and businesses, and streets for motor vehicles are always at the rear. Some pedestrian villages might be nearly car-free with cars either hidden below the buildings or on the periphery of the village. Venice, Italy is essentially a pedestrian village with canals. The canal district in Venice, California, on the other hand, combines the front lane/rear street approach with canals and walkways, or just walkways. [40] [42] [43]

Walking is also considered to be a clear example of a sustainable mode of transport, especially suited for urban use and/or relatively shorter distances. Non-motorized transport modes such as walking, but also cycling, small-wheeled transport (skates, skateboards, push scooters and hand carts) or wheelchair travel are often key elements of successfully encouraging clean urban transport. [44] A large variety of case studies and good practices (from European cities and some worldwide examples) that promote and stimulate walking as a means of transportation in cities can be found at Eltis, Europe's portal for local transport. [45]

The development of specific rights of way with appropriate infrastructure can promote increased participation and enjoyment of walking. Examples of types of investment include pedestrian malls, and foreshoreways such as oceanways and also river walks.

The first purpose-built pedestrian street in Europe is the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam, opened in 1953. The first pedestrianised shopping centre in the United Kingdom was in Stevenage in 1959. A large number of European towns and cities have made part of their centres car-free since the early 1960s. These are often accompanied by car parks on the edge of the pedestrianised zone, and, in the larger cases, park and ride schemes. Central Copenhagen is one of the largest and oldest: It was converted from car traffic into pedestrian zone in 1962.

In robotics

The first successful attempts at walking robots tended to have six legs. The number of legs was reduced as microprocessor technology advanced, and there are now a number of robots that can walk on two legs. One, for example, is ASIMO. Although robots have taken great strides in advancement, they still don't walk nearly as well as human beings as they often need to keep their knees bent permanently in order to improve stability.

In 2009, Japanese roboticist Tomotaka Takahashi developed a robot that can jump three inches off the ground. The robot, named Ropid, is capable of getting up, walking, running, and jumping. [46]


Two king penguins and one gentoo penguin walking on a beach on South Georgia, British overseas territory Penguins walking -Moltke Harbour, South Georgia, British overseas territory, UK-8.jpg
Two king penguins and one gentoo penguin walking on a beach on South Georgia, British overseas territory


The walk, a four-beat gait Muybridge horse walking animated.gif
The walk, a four-beat gait

The walk is a four-beat gait that averages about 4 miles per hour (6.4 km/h). When walking, a horse's legs follow this sequence: left hind leg, left front leg, right hind leg, right front leg, in a regular 1-2-3-4 beat. At the walk, the horse will always have one foot raised and the other three feet on the ground, save for a brief moment when weight is being transferred from one foot to another. A horse moves its head and neck in a slight up and down motion that helps maintain balance. [47]

Ideally, the advancing rear hoof oversteps the spot where the previously advancing front hoof touched the ground. The more the rear hoof oversteps, the smoother and more comfortable the walk becomes. Individual horses and different breeds vary in the smoothness of their walk. However, a rider will almost always feel some degree of gentle side-to-side motion in the horse's hips as each hind leg reaches forward.[ citation needed ]

The fastest "walks" with a four-beat footfall pattern are actually the lateral forms of ambling gaits such as the running walk, singlefoot, and similar rapid but smooth intermediate speed gaits. If a horse begins to speed up and lose a regular four-beat cadence to its gait, the horse is no longer walking but is beginning to either trot or pace.[ citation needed ]


An Asian elephant walking Elephant Walking animated.gif
An Asian elephant walking

Elephants can move both forwards and backwards, but cannot trot, jump, or gallop. They use only two gaits when moving on land, the walk and a faster gait similar to running. [48] In walking, the legs act as pendulums, with the hips and shoulders rising and falling while the foot is planted on the ground. With no "aerial phase", the fast gait does not meet all the criteria of running, although the elephant uses its legs much like other running animals, with the hips and shoulders falling and then rising while the feet are on the ground. [49] Fast-moving elephants appear to 'run' with their front legs, but 'walk' with their hind legs and can reach a top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph). [50] At this speed, most other quadrupeds are well into a gallop, even accounting for leg length.

Walking fish

A mudskipper, a type of walking fish, perched on land. Periophthalmus gracilis.jpg
A mudskipper, a type of walking fish, perched on land.

Walking fish (or ambulatory fish) are fish that are able to travel over land for extended periods of time. The term may also be used for some other cases of nonstandard fish locomotion, e.g., when describing fish "walking" along the sea floor, as the handfish or frogfish.


Insects must carefully coordinate their six legs during walking to produce gaits that allow for efficient navigation of their environment. Interleg coordination patterns have been studied in a variety of insects, including locusts (Schistocerca gregaria), cockroaches (Periplaneta americana), stick insects ( Carausius morosus ), and fruit flies ( Drosophila melanogaster ). [51] [52] [53] Different walking gaits have been observed to exist on a speed dependent continuum of phase relationships. [51] [53] Even though their walking gaits are not discrete, they can often be broadly categorized as either a metachronal wave gait, tetrapod gait, or tripod gait. [54]

In a metachronal wave gait, only one leg leaves contact with the ground at a time. This gait starts at one of the hind legs, then propagates forward to the mid and front legs on the same side before starting at the hind leg of the contralateral side . [54] The wave gait is often used at slow walking speeds and is the most stable, since five legs are always in contact with the ground at a time. [55]

In a tetrapod gait, two legs swing at a time while the other four legs remain in contact with the ground. There are multiple configurations for tetrapod gaits, but the legs that swing together must be on contralateral sides of the body . [54] Tetrapod gaits are typically used at medium speeds and are also very stable. [52]

A walking gait is considered tripod if three of the legs enter the swing phase simultaneously, while the other three legs make contact with the ground. [54] The middle leg of one side swings with the hind and front legs on the contralateral side. [54] Tripod gaits are most commonly used at high speeds, though it can be used at lower speeds. [55] The tripod gait is less stable than wave-like and tetrapod gaits, but it is theorized to be the most robust. [52] This means that it is easier for an insect to recover from an offset in step timing when walking in a tripod gait. The ability to respond robustly is important for insects when traversing uneven terrain. [52]

See also

Related Research Articles

Bipedalism Terrestrial locomotion using two limbs

Bipedalism is a form of terrestrial locomotion where an organism moves by means of its two rear limbs or legs. An animal or machine that usually moves in a bipedal manner is known as a biped, meaning 'two feet'. Types of bipedal movement include walking, running, and hopping.

Running Method of terrestrial locomotion allowing rapid movement on foot

Running is a method of terrestrial locomotion allowing humans and other animals to move rapidly on foot. Running is a type of gait characterized by an aerial phase in which all feet are above the ground. This is in contrast to walking, where one foot is always in contact with the ground, the legs are kept mostly straight and the center of gravity vaults over the stance leg or legs in an inverted pendulum fashion. A feature of a running body from the viewpoint of spring-mass mechanics is that changes in kinetic and potential energy within a stride occur simultaneously, with energy storage accomplished by springy tendons and passive muscle elasticity. The term running can refer to any of a variety of speeds ranging from jogging to sprinting.


Gait is the pattern of movement of the limbs of animals, including humans, during locomotion over a solid substrate. Most animals use a variety of gaits, selecting gait based on speed, terrain, the need to maneuver, and energetic efficiency. Different animal species may use different gaits due to differences in anatomy that prevent use of certain gaits, or simply due to evolved innate preferences as a result of habitat differences. While various gaits are given specific names, the complexity of biological systems and interacting with the environment make these distinctions "fuzzy" at best. Gaits are typically classified according to footfall patterns, but recent studies often prefer definitions based on mechanics. The term typically does not refer to limb-based propulsion through fluid mediums such as water or air, but rather to propulsion across a solid substrate by generating reactive forces against it.

Horse gait Ways of movement of equines

Horses can use various gaits during locomotion across solid ground, either naturally or as a result of specialized training by humans.

Gait (human) a pattern of limb movements made during locomotion.

A gait is a pattern of limb movements made during locomotion. Human gaits are the various ways in which a human can move, either naturally or as a result of specialized training. Human gait is defined as bipedal, biphasic forward propulsion of the center of gravity of the human body, in which there are alternate sinuous movements of different segments of the body with least expenditure of energy. Different gait patterns are characterized by differences in limb-movement patterns, overall velocity, forces, kinetic and potential energy cycles, and changes in the contact with the ground.

Racewalking Athletic discipline

Racewalking, or race walking, is a long-distance discipline within the sport of athletics. Although a foot race, it is different from running in that one foot must appear to be in contact with the ground at all times. This is assessed by race judges. Typically held on either roads or running tracks, common distances range from 3,000 metres (1.9 mi) up to 100 kilometres (62.1 mi).

Animal locomotion, in ethology, is any of a variety of methods that animals use to move from one place to another. Some modes of locomotion are (initially) self-propelled, e.g., running, swimming, jumping, flying, hopping, soaring and gliding. There are also many animal species that depend on their environment for transportation, a type of mobility called passive locomotion, e.g., sailing, kiting (spiders), rolling or riding other animals (phoresis).

Canter and gallop Equine gait

The canter and gallop are variations on the fastest gait that can be performed by a horse or other equine. The canter is a controlled three-beat gait, while the gallop is a faster, four-beat variation of the same gait. It is a natural gait possessed by all horses, faster than most horses' trot, or ambling gaits. The gallop is the fastest gait of the horse, averaging about 40 to 48 kilometres per hour. The speed of the canter varies between 16 to 27 kilometres per hour depending on the length of the horse's stride. A variation of the canter, seen in western riding, is called a lope, and is generally quite slow, no more than 13–19 kilometres per hour (8–12 mph).

Terrestrial locomotion

Terrestrial locomotion has evolved as animals adapted from aquatic to terrestrial environments. Locomotion on land raises different problems than that in water, with reduced friction being replaced by the increased effects of gravity.

Power walking or speed walking is the act of walking with a speed at the upper end of the natural range for the walking gait, typically 7 to 9 km/h. To qualify as power walking as opposed to jogging or running, at least one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times.

A facultative biped is an animal that is capable of walking or running on two legs (bipedal), as a response to exceptional circumstances (facultative), while normally walking or running on four limbs or more. In contrast, obligate bipedalism is where walking or running on two legs is the primary method of locomotion. Facultative bipedalism has been observed in several families of lizards and multiple species of primates, including sifakas, capuchin monkeys, baboons, gibbons, gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzeess. Different facultatively bipedal species employ different types of bipedalism corresponding to the varying reasons they have for engaging in facultative bipedalism. In primates, bipedalism is often associated with food gathering and transport. In lizards, it has been debated whether bipedal locomotion is an advantage for speed and energy conservation or whether it is governed solely by the mechanics of the acceleration and lizard's center of mass. Facultative bipedalism is often divided into high-speed (lizards) and low-speed (gibbons), but some species cannot be easily categorized into one of these two. Facultative bipedalism has also been observed in cockroaches and some desert rodents.

Hexapod (robotics) Type of robot

A six-legged walking robot should not be confused with a Stewart platform, a kind of parallel manipulator used in robotics applications.

Gait training or gait rehabilitation is the act of learning how to walk, either as a child, or, more frequently, after sustaining an injury or disability. Normal human gait is a complex process, which happens due to co-ordinated movements of the whole of the body, requiring the whole of Central Nervous System - the brain and spinal cord, to function properly. Any disease process affecting the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves emerging from them supplying the muscles, or the muscles itself can cause deviations of gait. The process of relearning how to walk is generally facilitated by Physiatrists or Rehabilitation medicine (PM&R) consultants, physical therapists or physiotherapists, along with occupational therapists and other allied specialists. The most common cause for gait impairment is due to an injury of one or both legs. Gait training is not simply re-educating a patient on how to walk, but also includes an initial assessment of their gait cycle - Gait analysis, creation of a plan to address the problem, as well as teaching the patient on how to walk on different surfaces. Assistive devices and splints (orthosis) are often used in gait training, especially with those who have had surgery or an injury on their legs, but also with those who have balance or strength impairments as well.

Legged robot Type of mobile robot

Legged robots are a type of mobile robot which use articulated limbs, such as leg mechanisms, to provide locomotion. They are more versatile than wheeled robots and can traverse many different terrains, though these advantages require increased complexity and power consumption. Legged robots often imitate legged animals, such as humans or insects, in an example of biomimicry.

The preferred walking speed is the speed at which humans or animals choose to walk. Many people tend to walk at about 1.4 metres per second. Although many people are capable of walking at speeds upwards of 2.5 m/s, especially for short distances, they typically choose not to. Individuals find slower or faster speeds uncomfortable.

Human locomotion is considered to take two primary forms: walking and running. In contrast, many quadrupeds have three distinct forms of locomotion: walk, trot, and gallop. Walking is a form of locomotion defined by a double support phase when both feet are on the ground at the same time. Running is a form of locomotion that does not have this double support phase.

Terrestrial locomotion by means of a running gait can be accomplished on level surfaces. However, in most outdoor environments an individual will experience terrain undulations requiring uphill running. Similar conditions can be mimicked in a controlled environment on a treadmill also. Additionally, running on inclines is used by runners, both distance and sprinter, to improve cardiovascular conditioning and lower limb strength.

Arm swing in human locomotion

Arm swing in human bipedal walking is a natural motion wherein each arm swings with the motion of the opposing leg. Swinging arms in an opposing direction with respect to the lower limb reduces the angular momentum of the body, balancing the rotational motion produced during walking. Although such pendulum-like motion of arms is not essential for walking, recent studies point that arm swing improves the stability and energy efficiency in human locomotion. Those positive effects of arm swing have been utilized in sports, especially in racewalking and sprinting.

Effect of gait parameters on energetic cost

The effect of gait parameters on energetic cost is a relationship that describes how changes in step length, cadence, step width, and step variability influence the mechanical work and metabolic cost involved in gait. The source of this relationship stems from the deviation of these gait parameters from metabolically optimal values, with the deviations due to environmental, pathological, and other factors.

A (bipedal) gait cycle is the time period or sequence of events or movements during locomotion in which one foot contacts the ground to when that same foot again contacts the ground, and involves propulsion of the centre of gravity in the direction of motion. A gait cycle usually involves co-operative movements of both the left and right legs and feet. A single gait cycle is also known as a stride.


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  17. Mireia Gascon (September 18, 2019). "Correlates of Walking for Travel in Seven European Cities: The PASTA Project". Environmental Health Perspectives. 127 (9): 097003. doi:10.1289/ehp4603. PMC   6792377 . PMID   31532248.
  18. "What has the head of a crocodile and the gills of a fish?". evolution.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  19. Choi, Charles (2011-12-12). "Hopping fish suggests walking originated underwater; Discovery might redraw the evolutionary route scientists think life took from water to land". NBC News. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  20. Grimaldi, David; Engel, Michael S.; Engel, Michael S. (2005-05-16). Evolution of the Insects – David Grimaldi, Michael S. Engel – Google Books. ISBN   9780521821490 . Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  21. H. Jung et al. The ancient origins of neural substrates for land walking. Cell. Vol. 172, February 8, 2018, p. 667. doi : 10.1016/j.cell.2018.01.013
  22. Garisto, Dan, The wiring for walking developed long before fish left the sea in Science News, Feb. 8, 2018
  23. Dunham, Will (February 26, 2009). "Footprints show human ancestor with modern stride". Reuters. Retrieved August 2009.Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  24. Harmon, Katherine (February 26, 2009). "Researchers Uncover 1.5 Million-Year-Old Footprints". Scientific American. Retrieved August 2009.Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  25. See Terry Adby and Stuart Johnston, The Hillwalker's Guide to Mountaineering, (Milnthorpe: Cicerone, 2003), ISBN   1-85284-393-4, pp. 62–65 for more on defining scrambles.
  26. Volken, Martin; Schnell, Scott; Wheeler, Margaret (2007). Backcountry Skiing: Skills for Ski Touring and Ski Mountaineering. Mountaineers Books. p.  12. ISBN   978-1-59485-038-7 . Retrieved 2014-07-12.
  27. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 27, No. 4 April 1995: 607–11
  28. Cooper Institute, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports, 2002
  29. Church TS, Earnest CP, Morss GM (2013-03-25). "Field testing of physiological responses associated with Nordic Walking". Res Q Exerc Sport. 73 (3): 296–300. doi:10.1080/02701367.2002.10609023. PMID   12230336. S2CID   24173445.
  30. Phil Howell (1986).
  31. "Wait ... That's an Olympic event?". Christian Science Monitor. 3 August 2012.
  32. "Walk without waste". ABC Online Index. January 2001. Retrieved August 2009.Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  33. Uyar, Erol; Baser, Özgün; Baci, Recep; Özçivici, Engin (before 2003). "Investigation of Bipedal Human Gait Dynamics and Knee Motion Control" (PDF). Izmir, Turkey: Dokuz Eylül University – Faculty of Engineering Department of Mechanical Engineering. Retrieved August 2009.Check date values in: |access-date= and |date= (help)
  34. Patnaik, Lalit; et al. (October 2015). "Physical constraints, fundamental limits, and optimal locus of operating points for an inverted pendulum based actuated dynamic walker". Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. 10 (6): 064001. doi:10.1088/1748-3190/10/6/064001. PMID   26502096.
  35. Ramblers. "Walking benefits". Ramblers.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  36. See European long-distance paths
  37. "Our history". Ramblers. 1935-01-01. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  38. "Get Walking Keep Walking website". Getwalking.org. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  39. [Ramblers, " Our History".http://www.ldwa.org.uk/history.php] Long Distance Walkers Association: History.
  40. 1 2 "New Pedestrianism information". Pedestrianvillages.com. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  41. "New Urbanism and New Pedestrianism in the 21st Century". Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
  42. Michael E. Arth, The Labors of Hercules: Modern Solutions to 12 Herculean Problems. 2007 Online edition. Labor IX: Urbanism
  43. Michael E. Arth, "Pedestrian Villages are the Antidote to Sprawl" The DeLand-Deltona Beacon, May 29, 2003. p. 1D.
  44. "Non Motorised Transport, Teaching and Learning Material". Eu-portal.net. Retrieved 2012-08-22.
  45. European Local Transport Information Service (ELTIS) provides case studies concerning walking as a local transport concept
  46. "Ropid the robot can walk, run, and hop". CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
  47. Harris, Susan E. Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement New York: Howell Book House 1993 ISBN   0-87605-955-8 pp. 32–33
  48. Shoshani, J.; Walter, R. C.; Abraha, M.; Berhe, S.; Tassy, P.; Sanders, W. J.; Marchant, G. H.; Libsekal, Y.; Ghirmai, T.; Zinner, D. (2006). "A proboscidean from the late Oligocene of Eritrea, a "missing link" between early Elephantiformes and Elephantimorpha, and biogeographic implications". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (46): 17296–301. Bibcode:2006PNAS..10317296S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0603689103. PMC   1859925 . PMID   17085582.
  49. Hutchinson, J. R.; Schwerda, D.; Famini, D. J.; Dale, R. H.; Fischer, M. S. & Kram, R. (2006). "The locomotor kinematics of Asian and African elephants: changes with speed and size". Journal of Experimental Biology. 209 (19): 3812–27. doi: 10.1242/jeb.02443 . PMID   16985198.
  50. Genin, J. J.; Willems, P. A.; Cavagna, G. A.; Lair, R. & Heglund, N. C. (2010). "Biomechanics of locomotion in Asian elephants". Journal of Experimental Biology. 213 (5): 694–706. doi: 10.1242/jeb.035436 . PMID   20154184.
  51. 1 2 Graham, DA (1972). "A behavioural analysis of the temporal organisation of walking movements in the 1st instar and adult stick insect (Carausius morosus)". Journal of Comparative Physiology. 81: 23–52. doi:10.1007/BF00693548. S2CID   38878595.
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