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Connection Found Between Walking Patterns and Posture

Sep 10th, 2012
Staff Writer
People have a tendency to walk asymetrically.

A French laboratory recently investigated the tendency for people to walk asymmetrically when provided limited and ambiguous environmental cues in order to find the source of the phenomenon.

The subjects of the Universitè de Bordeaux study, published September 5th with PlosOne Journal, were blindfolded and released in a large enclosed area, their trajectory tracked by computer monitors. The researchers found that only 11% had a straight pattern (deviated less than 10% from a straight line), 50% ended on the left, 39% on the right.

Posture symmetry was determined by measuring the center of pressure (COP) on each foot while standing with both eyes open. The center of pressure test proved to correlate significantly with the walking trajectory of subjects. 80% of subjects who turned to the left had a COP on the left side, 70% of subjects who turned to the right had a COP to the right in posture testing.

The researchers determined that veering is connected to non-pathological physical asymmetries. In their task prompting participants to walk using a “sense of straight ahead”, they found that this sense correlated with the subject’s center of gravity, or center of pressure. The asymmetries are contributed to asymmetrical leg lengths, hip tilt or spinal deformities found almost universally in all people.