View Full Version : Arm swing during human walking

Stefan Gruber
06-02-1998, 06:01 PM
Dear Biomech-L Readers,

I am interested in the arm swing during natural human walking. There are
two main questions which I am focusing at:

1. What is the reason of the arm swing, i.e.: is it caused by muscular
action (active) or is it due to gravity (passive)?

2. What are the effects of the arm swing, i.e.: does it work balancing
on the trunk rotation; does it reduce reaction forces between feet and
ground; ...?

Does anyone know about experimental investigations or about simulations
which used a 3D-biped-multibody-model to answer these questions?
The only literature I found on the upper extremities during walking and
running is the one by R. N. Hinrichs (1990) and his references.

We try to answer these questions by inverse dynamics. In the experiment
a person has to walk on a treadmill twice: once with the arms fold in
front of the body and once with natural swinging arms. Kinematic data
from the person is recorded. The inverse dynamic method is then used to
predict torques in the arms and shoulder joints. Has anyone experience
with arm swing during treadmill walking and can make suggestions on our

Thanks in advance to all those who respond, all replies will be sent to

Stefan Gruber
Dipl.-Ing. Stefan Gruber
Institute B of Mechanics
University of Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 9
D-70550 Stuttgart phone: ++49 711-685 7659
Germany fax: ++49 711-685 6400


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