Researchers take a step forward in understanding human feet

21 Jan 2019

Researchers have taken strides in understanding how human feet evolved to enhance walking and running, setting us apart from species such as chimpanzees.

Findings from The University of Queensland and University of Exeter study could be used to improve exercises for foot-related injuries, understanding of conditions such as flat feet, and the design of footwear.

UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences researcher Associate Professor Glen Lichtwark said the study examined whether the plantar intrinsic muscles helped support the arch of the foot, presumed to be a key to moving efficiently while upright.

“Instead, we found the muscles made minimal contribution to arch support, but were crucial for helping us push off the ground when walking or running,” he said.

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