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Physics – Foot Performance Elucidated

• Physics 15, s164

When people stroll, our ft act as levers somewhat than touchdown pads as beforehand thought.

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Working on two legs is extra environment friendly than galloping on 4. It may also be sustained for longer, so scientists suppose our ancestors could have advanced to stride upright, because it offered a bonus over our four-legged prey. Bipedal movement provides people a singular gait during which the leg swings and the foot acts as a contact to the bottom. However, if the foot have been merely a touchdown pad, its construction would probably be a lot much less advanced. Now Daniel Renjewski of the Technical College of Munich and his colleagues present that the foot is definitely a lever that propels us ahead [1].

When a human foot contacts the bottom, a reactive power travels up into the leg. Measurements of this power present that its magnitude peaks twice per stride. Equally, the purpose at which the foot exerts a most stress on the bottom modifications twice. Nonetheless, if the foot have been merely a touchdown pad, there must be just one power peak and one level of most stress.

Utilizing beforehand collected knowledge generated from individuals strolling on a treadmill, the crew derived an equation of movement for the foot that ties forces originating above the foot to torques native to the foot. After an individual’s foot strikes the bottom, the higher physique pushes down on the leg, growing the torque on the ankle and shifting weight towards the toes. This weight shift causes the particular person’s physique to maneuver ahead; the foot stays firmly planted.

The strike of the particular person’s foot and the next shift of weight induce two separate stress peaks on the bottom, as anticipated for fashions that deal with the foot as a lever. Renjewski and colleagues say that their mannequin might assist enhance designs of gait-assistive units and bioinspired robots.

–Rachel Berkowitz

Rachel Berkowitz is a Corresponding Editor for Physics Journal based mostly in Vancouver, Canada.


  1. D. Renjewski et al., “Foot perform enabled by human strolling dynamics,” Phys. Rev. E 106, 064405 (2022).

Topic Areas

MechanicsBiological Physics

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