Navigation Links
Don't shuffle on slippery surfaces, Clemson University, Charleston researchers say
Date:3/24/2011

CLEMSON, S.C. Biomechanics researchers Timothy Higham of Clemson University and Andrew Clark of the College of Charleston conclude that moving quickly in a forward, firm-footed stance across a slippery surface is less likely to lead to a fall than if you move slowly. Approaching a slippery surface slowly hinders the necessary task of shifting the center of mass forward once foot contact is made.

The researchers studied helmeted guinea fowl strutting along a six-meter runway that either had a rough-surface section (150-grit sandpaper) or a slippery one (polypropylene shelf liner). High-speed video recorded the action. The experiment is reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology, "Slipping, sliding and stability: locomotor strategies for overcoming low-friction surfaces," pages 1369-1378 (vol. 214).

Helmeted guinea fowl react to slips much in the same way humans do, making them good test subjects, according to Higham. He and Clark are interested in how animals move and avoid injury when making their way through their environments.

Finding out how animals can respond rapidly to unexpected changes in their habitat, the scientists' stated that their research would "ultimately yield important information regarding the flexibility of physiological and behavioral systems," according to their article.

"The findings can be useful in helping humans, especially older ones, make their way across surfaces that are wet, icy or oily," said Higham. "The key to avoiding slips seems to be speed and keeping the body mass forward, slightly ahead of the ankles after the foot contacts the ground."

Slips are a major cause of falls that can cause injuries and even deaths. Slips accounted for about 44 percent of fatal and nonfatal work-related falls, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statics report in 1992.

Clark and Higham not only saw that speed, foot position and body alignment made a difference, but also the slip distance. For a guinea fowl to fall, it needed to slip a minimum of 10 centimeters just under four inches. The distance is the same for humans, said Higham.

Guinea fowl leg joints and human knees and ankles function in similar ways: the position of the knee relative to the foot can create joint angles wide or narrow that can cause or prevent loss of balance on slippery surfaces, the scientists said. Once the knee passes the ankle during contact with slippery ground, slipping stops.

"Our study shows that there are common limb-control strategies on slippery surfaces in helmeted guineas and humans," said Higham (http://www.clemson.edu/biosci/faculty/higham/).


'/>"/>

Contact: Timothy Higham
thigham@clemson.edu
864-656-7393
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Prevent periodontitis to reduce the risk of head and neck cancer
2. Periodontitis and myocardial infarction: A shared genetic predisposition
3. Trackway analysis shows how dinosaurs coped with slippery slopes
4. Clemson researcher will study plutonium underground for Energy Department
5. $1.2 million grant to support Clemson precision agriculture cotton research
6. Clemson engineers to create model underground energy-storage facility
7. $400,000 NRC grant to develop nuclear engineering faculty at Clemson
8. Researchers sequence DNA of peach tree at Clemson University
9. Researchers sequence DNA if peach tree at Clemson University
10. Clemson researcher receives grant to study engineering enrollment of women, minorities
11. Clemson researchers receive EPA grant to study carbon emission storage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
(Date:5/20/2016)...  VoiceIt is excited to announce its new ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer ... take slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration ... usability. Both ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their ... agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, ... connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ON (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS ... DNA Technical Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as ... the STACS DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BEACH, Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint ... new biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed ... co-founder Matthew Nunez . "We have ... us with the capital we need to meet our ... will essentially provide us the runway to complete validation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: