For healthy adults, walking is so automatic that it’s impossible to remember having learned how to do it. Yet it’s easy to pick up a few bad habits along the way that make our walks less efficient—and maybe even injurious. The good news is that even patterns established over a lifetime can be reversed, reports the February issue of the Harvard Health Letter.
Ideally, by adulthood a person will walk with head erect, back straight, arms bent, knees extending and flexing, and feet striking the ground with the heel and pushing off with the toes. Our upper bodies also get into the act. Unfortunately, few of us achieve the ideal gait, and fewer still maintain it. Over time, we may lower our heads and thrust our trunks forward. Instead of swinging, our arms may dangle listlessly at our sides.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.