Hips For Walking, Ankles For Running

In a first-of-its-kind study comparing human walking and running motions — and whether the hips, knees or ankles are the most important power sources for these motions — researchers at North Carolina State University show that the hips generate more of the power when people walk, but the ankles generate more of the power when humans run. Knees provide approximately one-fifth or less of walking or running power.

The research could help inform the best ways of building assistive or prosthetic devices for humans, or constructing next-generation robotics, say NC State biomedical engineers Drs. Dominic Farris and Gregory Sawicki. The co-authors of a study on the mechanics of walking and running in the journal Interface, a Royal Society scientific journal, Sawicki and Farris are part of NC State’s Human PoWeR (Physiology of Wearable Robotics) Lab.

In a new study, researchers show that the hips generate more of the power when people walk, but the ankles generate more of the power when humans run. (Credit: iStockphoto/Mads Abildgaard)

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