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Scientists Have Discovered Why Humans Don’t Walk Sideways Like Crabs

Finally, an answer to this very important question.

1. Ever asked yourself why humans don’t walk like crabs?

Ok so you probably haven’t. But a team of scientists from the The Ohio State University did, and what they found is actually pretty interesting.

2. This is the kind of sideways walking the scientists investigated.

Matthew L. Handford and Manoj Srinivasan / Via rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org

First each of the ten participants walked sideways down a hallway at a speed at which they felt comfortable, before graduating to a treadmill. The researchers calculated each person’s preferred speed from several treadmill trials.

From this they discovered that people move pretty slowly when they walk sideways.

They also modelled sideways walking mathematically and discovered that it is much more energy intensive than walking forwards.

3. It turns out that walking sideways involves a lot of stopping and starting and ends up burning as many calories as running does.


Which is great is you want to get fit but not so good if you just want to go about your daily life.

The good news from this study is that our lack of sideways walking isn’t because we’re not good at it. It’s just because it’s not metabolically optimal.

And also because it makes you look like an idiot.

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