The Foot's Arch and the Energetics of Human Locomotion
|dc.identifier.citation||Stearne, S. and McDonald, K. and Alderson, J. and North, I. and Oxnard, C. and Rubenson, J. 2016. The Foot's Arch and the Energetics of Human Locomotion. Scientific Reports. 6.|
The energy-sparing spring theory of the foot's arch has become central to interpretations of the foot's mechanical function and evolution. Using a novel insole technique that restricted compression of the foot's longitudinal arch, this study provides the first direct evidence that arch compression/recoil during locomotion contributes to lowering energy cost. Restricting arch compression near maximally (~80%) during moderate-speed (2.7 ms -1 ) level running increased metabolic cost by + 6.0% (p < 0.001, d = 0.67; unaffected by foot strike technique). A simple model shows that the metabolic energy saved by the arch is largely explained by the passive-elastic work it supplies that would otherwise be done by active muscle. Both experimental and model data confirm that it is the end-range of arch compression that dictates the energy-saving role of the arch. Restricting arch compression had no effect on the cost of walking or incline running (3°), commensurate with the smaller role of passive-elastic mechanics in these gaits. These findings substantiate the elastic energy-saving role of the longitudinal arch during running, and suggest that arch supports used in some footwear and orthotics may increase the cost of running.
|dc.publisher||Nature Publishing Group|
|dc.title||The Foot's Arch and the Energetics of Human Locomotion|
|curtin.department||School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science|
|curtin.accessStatus||Open access via publisher|
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