Schottenbauer Publishing

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

An Analysis of Human Movement: Graph of Walking

Trajectories of human motion can be analyzed in several ways. Most often, scientists are interested in measuring the simple velocity or speed of a human walking, jogging, or running forward on a track. A closer analysis of human motion shows a complex pattern of movements, however. As the torso moves forward, the legs and arms move back and forth relative to the torso. In addition, the entire body bounces slightly up and down. The force of breathing can also distort the shape of the torso.

What does human movement look like in a graph? Consider the graph below, excerpted from the book series Walk, Jog, & Run: The Science of Athletic Training from Schottenbauer Publishing.

Discussion Questions
  1. In which direction is the walker moving?
  2. How many steps are shown in the graph?
  3. How can the speed of the walker be measured on the graph?
  4. Describe the movement of the knee, ankle, and toes relative to the hip, as if the hip were stationary.
  5. Which body part moves the most in the x direction?
  6. Which body part moves the most in the y direction?
  7. What is the velocity of the walker?

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