We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Biomechanics of Walking?

By Sandra Koehler
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Walking is the primary way to propel the body in a particular direction. It is a multifaceted series of specific movements, called the gait pattern that incorporates almost every part of the body working in unison. The scientific study of how the body moves to change its location is called the biomechanics of walking. In order to understand the biomechanics of walking, a basic knowledge of each phase of the gait sequence is required.

The biomechanics of walking is divided into two stages that occur simultaneously: the stance phase and the swing phase. The stance phase starts with something called a heel strike, which occurs when one heel hits the ground. When this happens, this leg becomes the stabilizer of the body. It does not, however remain stationary. During stance phase the walker's body weight shifts from the heel through the foot to the toes. This stage is an important aspect in the biomechanics of walking because it alters the position of the body and prepares it to move from one location to another.

To actually move or propel the body to a different spot, the other leg needs to move in front of the stabilizer leg. This phase in the biomechanics of walking is called the swing phase. The swing phase begins at the end of the stance phase as the weight of the body is shifted to the toes. The body then pushes the weight off the balls of the toes and swings the leg forward until the heel makes contact with the ground. At the heel strike, the bulk of the body weight is transferred to the forward leg.

During the gait cycle, weight shifts and specific movements of the hips and torso are required to successfully change the position of the body. For example, in the biomechanics of walking, the hip of the stance leg needs to shift slightly forward in anticipation of a positional change. The ability to move the bulk of the weight back and forth over the legs as both legs are in motion is necessary to maintain balance and successfully propel the body forward.

The arms also play a role in the biomechanics of walking. By swinging the arm opposite of the swinging leg, or swinging the right arm as the left leg swings forward for example, the body can adapt to weight shifts more easily to prevent a loss of balance. Incorporating arm movements also adds power to forward mobility through momentum allowing the body to use less energy when walking.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.