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:2/28/2017)... BARCELONA , Spanien, 27. Februar 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... durch Iris-Scan, wird seine erstklassige biometrische Lösung ... Snapdragon™ 835 mit X16 LTE auf dem ... 2. März) am Qualcomm-Stand in Halle 3, ... 835-Prozessor beinhaltet die Sicherheitsplattform Qualcomm Haven™ – ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... PORTLAND, Ore. , Feb. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... of Companies (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, Signature Hospice, ... study that will apply the power of IBM cognitive ... and health centers. By analyzing data streaming from sensors ... into physical and environmental conditions, and obtain deeper learnings ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... 13, 2017 Former 9/11 Commission border counsel ... Janice Kephart of Identity Strategy Partners, LLP, ... Trump,s "Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign ... "As President Trump,s ,Travel Ban, Executive Order ... essentially banned the travel ban, it is important that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... Mass. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... partner to global in vitro diagnostics manufacturers ... of the industry,s first multiplexed Inherited ... disease testing by next-generation sequencing (NGS). The ... were developed with input from industry experts ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 Women of Innovation® finalist. ... Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes women accomplished in science, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ALBANY, New York , March 23, 2017 ... animal blood plasma products and derivatives market is fragmented due to the ... large players, such as Proliant, Thermo Fisher , and Sigma-Aldrich, ... clear leader, these three companies, collectively, held more than 76% of ... ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... La. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... industrial monitoring solutions, today announced the hire of Dr. Sigmund “Sig” Floyd as ... customer applications, strategic partnerships and joint development activities. , “Dr. Floyd’s career has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: