Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Walk Before You Run

According to the journal  Nature, the skeleton of a small hominid on the Island of Flores in Indonesia is revealing many clues about modern human existence, including how our feet evolved. 

New York Times writer, John Noble Wilfod wrote extensively about this discovery in his article,
"Prints Show a Modern Foot in Prehumans." Here's a quote from the article that I think is fascinating:

The footprints discovered in Kenya, researchers said, indicated that the erectus foot functioned much as a human foot does: the heel contacts the ground first; weight transfers along the arch to the ball of the foot; and the push-off is applied by the forefoot. In apes and apparently earlier hominids, this force comes from the midfoot.

The discovery is “even more explicit evidence,” Dr. Harris said, that the erectus species extended its range into more diversified habitats, camping and discarding stone tools at sites far from the sources of the stone. . . 

This history shows that foot development over thousands of years promoted the development of humankind. With the rise of modern transportation, modern walking surfaces and the fashion shoe choices we make, our feet function in an environment very different from our evolutionary history. 

With this in mind, pay attention to your gait. Remember when walking to keep your feet straight and a slight bend to your knees with every step. Your feet will take you places our ancestors never dreamed possible.


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