Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
MONTEIRO, Walace David and ARAUJO, Claudio Gil Soares de. Walking-running transition: physiological considerations and perspectives for future studies. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2001, vol.7, n.6, pp. 207-222. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922001000600004.
Professionals who deal with physical activity are frequently confronted with one of the following questions: which is the best activity, walking or running? When should I stop walking and start running? Would it be interesting to alternate the two types of activity? Although these questions can be easily answered for a healthy and fit individual, some doubts remain and need to be clarified for other cases. While walking and running are more efficient in velocities below 6 km.h-1 and above 8 km.h-1, respectively, the best way of locomotion in the intermediate zone, that is, when effort intensity is increased in the transition from walking to running, is still unknown. At this point there are some doubts regarding the physiological mechanisms that regulate the locomotion selection. In addition, there is no clear explanation about the implications of the different types of locomotion on the variables that characterize exercise intensity. This article focus around the following topics: study of human locomotion through mathematical models; protocols used in walking-running transition studies; metabolic aspects of the work on a treadmill and on the ground; anthropometric characteristics and walking-running transition; energetic demand and walking-running transitions; motor stability and walking-running transition. In all of them, the positive aspects, as well as the controversies and limitations, were discussed. Finally, the authors point out to some possibilities for future investigations.
Keywords : Human locomotion; Walking-running transition; Running economy; Oxygen uptake; Exercise physiology; Physical conditioning.