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Study: Humans swing arms to save energy

July 29, 2009 5:57:44 AM PDT
Researchers say they have found an answer to a mystery that has baffled scientists for some time: Why we swing our arms in opposition to our legs when we walk. Researchers in the Netherlands recruited volunteers who were asked to walk with a normal swing, while others were asked to walk with their arms tied by their sides.

The rest walked with their right arm moving with the right leg, and left with the left.

They found the last two scenarios required about 30 percent more energy.

The researchers say that even though normal arm swinging is easy, its effect on conserving human energy is significant.

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