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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física

Print version ISSN 1806-1117

Abstract

ROMEO, F. A simple model of energy expenditure in human locomotion. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.4, pp.4306-4310. ISSN 1806-1117.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-11172009000400008.

A simple harmonic oscillator model is proposed to describe the mechanical power involved in human locomotion. In this framework, by taking into account the anthropometric parameters of a standard individual, we are able to calculate the speed-power curves in human walking. The proposed model accounts for the well known Margaria's law in which the cost of human running (independent from the speed) is fixed to 1 kcal/(kg km). The model includes the effects of a gentle slope (either positive or negative) and the effect due to the mechanical response of the walking surface. The model results obtained in the presence of a slope are in qualitative agreement with the experimental data obtained by A. Leonardi et al.

Keywords : movement and locomotion; human walking; race walking; mountain trekking.

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