How Do We Walk? – The Works Museum
An interactive session led by Dr. Elena Caruthers
Assistant Professor, Department of Engineering at Otterbein University
Lecture Location: The Works SciDome & Meeting Room
Hands-On Laboratory Location: STEM Center & Meeting Room
Locations subject to change, updates will be provided closer to event date.
Walking is the main way we move from place to place each day. While it may seem simple, walking is a pretty complicated task! Your brain, nerves, muscles, and bones all need to work together in order for you to walk. Biomechanists are scientists who study how humans (or other living things) move and ask questions like “How are their joints moving?” or “What muscles are they using?” for tasks like walking, but also running, climbing stairs, throwing a ball, or even dancing!
In addition, everyone has their own unique way of walking. Do you walk the same way as your friend? parent? grandparent? Probably not! Certain populations with diseases (like osteoarthritis) also have their own way of walking but find the task particularly challenging and demanding. Some biomechanists observe and study how healthy people walk as well as those with different diseases. The information they collect can help improve design of assistive devices or develop exercises that could help reduce the difficulty or pain those diseased populations experience when walking.
During the activity, you will learn how to think like a biomechanist by observing and learning how YOU walk, how others walk as well as design wearable devices to simulate different walking patterns of those with certain diseases and discuss how you might treat/correct this type of walking pattern.