Navigation Links
GW researchers find variation in foot strike patterns in predominantly barefoot runners
Date:1/9/2013

WASHINGTON A recently published paper by two George Washington University researchers shows that the running foot strike patterns vary among habitually barefoot people in Kenya due to speed and other factors such as running habits and the hardness of the ground. These results are counter to the belief that barefoot people prefer one specific style of running.

Kevin Hatala, a Ph.D. student in the Hominid Paleobiology doctoral program at George Washington, is the lead author of the paper that appears in the recent edition of the journal Public Library of Science, or PLOS ONE. In their study, Mr. Hatala along with Brian Richmond, associate professor of anthropology within GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, contradict the idea that all habitually barefoot people run by landing on their forefoot first in order to avoid the high impact forces typically associated with a heel strike. This idea has become widely cited in popular running journals and has helped fuel the barefoot running movement now popular among recreational runners. However, previous research supporting this hypothesis was limited to only one population of habitually barefoot people.

Mr. Hatala, Dr. Richmond and their colleagues studied the Daasanach, a modern habitually barefoot population from northwestern Kenya, to support their theory. Data was collected from 38 adults as they ran along a track with a plantar pressure pad placed midway along its length. The subjects ran at self-selected endurance running and sprinting speeds. The collected data supported the theory that a forefoot strike reduces the magnitude of impact forces on the feet, but the majority of Daasanach subjects opted instead to use a rearfoot strike at endurance speeds.

"The Daasanach people grow up without shoes and continue to spend most of their lives barefoot," said Mr. Hatala. "We were surprised to see that the majority of Daasanach people ran by landing on their heels first and few landed on their forefoot. This contradicts the hypothesis that a forefoot strike characterizes the 'typical' running gait of habitually barefoot people."

Some Daasanach individuals switched to a forefoot strike when running at high speeds but a forefoot strike was not the typical foot strike pattern at any speed.

The analysis of running gaits within the Daasanach is only the second study of its kind and its results differed significantly from those of earlier research, which had suggested that, when running at endurance speeds, habitually barefoot people tend to land on their forefeet instead of their heels. Given that humans were barefoot for millions of years during which our foot evolved its current shape, the research also has implications for hypotheses regarding the running gaits that would have been used by our ancestors.

Mr. Hatala said the results of the study suggest that running speed, alongside other factors such as the firmness of the running surface, may have similarly influenced variation in the running gaits of early man, rather than one gait being preferred in all circumstances.

"The challenge ahead is to identify the most important factors that influence how barefoot people run and the healthiest style for today's runners," said Dr. Richmond, a co-author of the research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
lgatlin@gwu.edu
202-994-5631
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Joslin researchers identify important factor in fat storage and energy metabolism
2. UCSB researchers perform pioneering research on Type 2 diabetes
3. Researchers develop tool to evaluate genome sequencing method
4. Jackson Laboratory researchers provide definitive proof for receptors role in synapse development
5. Researchers discover genetic basis for eczema, new avenue to therapies
6. Thomas Jefferson University researchers discover new pathways that drive metastatic prostate cancer
7. Carin Görings remains identified by researchers at Uppsala University
8. CNIO researchers develop new databases for understanding the human genome
9. 3 Johns Hopkins researchers named AAAS Fellows
10. Leibniz Prizes 2013: DFG honors 11 outstanding researchers
11. Researchers and company from Luxembourg awarded a grant from Michael J. Fox Foundation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016  BioMEMS devices deployed in ... on medical screening and diagnostic applications, such ... devices that facilitate and assure continuous monitoring ... are being bolstered through new opportunities offered ... acquisition coupled with wireless connectivity and low ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology ... service presents an analysis of the digital and computed ... Malaysia , and Indonesia ... current trends and market size, as well as regional ... by country and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... BURNABY, Canada , February 1, 2016 ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...   --> Rising sales of consumer electronics ... intuitive gesture control market size ... of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements to ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... HOLLOWAY AMERICA, a leading custom ... Rocky Mountain Chapter 21st Annual Vendor Exhibition on Thursday, February 18, 2016. The ... for its annual event, which will run from 3:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... ... to their comprehensive training and support program, Sonalink™ remote monitoring. The inaugural launch ... performed on Friday, February 5th, connecting Dr. Samuel Peretsman to a HIFU technical ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Curoverse ... Azure. On Azure, Arvados provides capabilities for managing and processing genomic and health ... Azure from major institutions collecting and analyzing genomic data,” said Adam Berrey chief ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Cenna Bioscience Inc., an ... treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, announced today it has been selected to present at the ... Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. The purpose of the Forum is to help ...
Breaking Biology Technology: