Have you ever thought why you get exhausted standing in for 5 minutes but walks comfortably for longer with no complaints? The kids, running and jumping nonstop all-around the whole day seen to be yawning and tired while standing in the assembly hall of the school. The human body is designed to move. However, the erect body is a poorly engineered model from a strict biomechanical viewpoint because the heavier portions are placed upon a narrow base of support, similar to an inverted cone. Hence, we are here going to talks about the difference between Walking vs Standing
Facts About Standing
In human standing, gravity causes forward toppling about the ankle joint and your body sways back and forth to remain in balance. Apart from postural muscles constantly working to keep the body straight in alignment against the gravity it is the small muscles in the leg which are at continuous load maintaining the posture while standing.
So if we ignore the musculoskeletal conditions like arthritis and others, there are several factors which makes standing more difficult and tiring than walking.
Walking vs Standing
- Standing on the spot for long challenges the same limited muscles including the small leg muscles to counteract the gravity and stabilize. When standing, as the volume of venous return from the lower body decreases, cardiac output also lowers down so there is a pool of stale blood that accumulates.
- The plantar pressure or point load on the bottom of the foot which is mainly on heel or ball of feet while standing are under continuous weight-bearing leading to pain and discomfort. And this is why we tend to shift the weight from one leg to another to gain interim relief. Whereas while walking both points and location of load on bottom of foot keep varying hence experience the cycle of stress n relief unlike continuous stress while standing.
- Postural muscles which are continuously on load are also deprived of fresh blood to deliver oxygen, nutrients, and remove toxins, muscles goes for fatigue. When we walk, the increased activity of our muscles keeps the circulation of both blood and lymph going, preventing the pooling of fluids in feet and ankles, keep the blood flowing up to your heart and back, giving the muscles in our extremities fresh blood, and avoid exhaustion.
- The biomechanical sequence in the gait cycle involves the Stance and Swing phase. While one leg in the stance phase is bearing the load the other leg in the swing phase is at ease and gets time to relax in the swing phase. 40% of our walking is the swing phase hence if we compare with the example in the first paragraph of standing for 5 minutes with walking for the same duration, we can say walking for 5 minutes have approximately 2 minutes of relative rest period for leg. Making walk more easily than standing for the same time period.
- Another fatigue factor in standing still is that the surface underfoot remains the same, while studies of store employees and shoppers have found that there is less perceived fatigue even in walking if the flooring changes periodically, perhaps from wood to carpet. A resilient surface also helps.
- Standing also has a psychological downside when compared to walking. Well, if you’re simply standing still, say at the airport’s check-in counter, then you are confined to limited stimuli and space. You may, from time to time, change your focus arranging your things or talking, but the majority of the time is spent standing, bored. In this case, there is little incentive for your body to ignore the signals coming from your legs telling you they’re tired and/or hurting. As a result, you pay attention to that, and it seems your legs hurt faster.
- Compare that to if you are walking. Consciously, you have to account for lot more things than just walking, obstacles, cars, people around, variety of visual stimuli. You have to take into account what you’re hearing. You use the feedback from your feet, mostly unconsciously, to fix minor problems with each stride. This all takes your mind away from the fact that from the beginning, you are actively hurting your legs. Your legs will really only start to feel like they’re hurting once they are hurt bad enough to overcome your brain’s instructions to survey the surroundings, which will take longer than just standing in most of the cases.
Next time when you have to attend the long phone call, take a comfortable way to walk around than standing one place to pain yourself. As the famous TV commercial said, “ Walk and Talk.”