Who Invented Walking: The History and Evolution of the Walk

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Walking as a culture

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What is Walking, and Why Was it Invented?

Our natural way of moving & one of the best ways for staying healthy!

The origin of walking can be traced back to the animal kingdom. Walking is an evolutionarily favored form of locomotion because of its utility across various environments. 

The first evidence of bipedalism, or two-legged walking, is dated back to the early hominid Ardipithecus ramidus, which lived 4.4 million years ago. 

Natural selection has made walking one of the best forms of locomotion that humans have used over time, and it has allowed humans to survive in many different environments.

Basic Overview of How Walking Works

Most people know that walking is a type of bipedal locomotion, but some details about the process are not as widely known.

The motion of walking can be broken down into three main tasks: balancing, stabilizing, and propulsion

  • The first task is to balance the person on their feet by keeping their head level with their hips. 
  • The second task is to stabilize the joints in the body, which involves tightening muscles to prevent them from moving around too much. 
  • The third task is propulsion, which propels you forward with every step by pushing off on your toes and then swinging your leg up and around to keep the momentum going.
There are two types of locomotion - walking and running. Walking refers to slow-paced movement while running refers to faster-paced movement.

Evolutionary Timeline for Walking

The first major pattern to emerge in the evolution of walking is substrate specialization. 

This pattern emerged in the Permian, about 290 million years ago. The first animals that walked on four legs were arthropods, specifically insects and crustaceans. 

Insects still use this method for locomotion today.

The next pattern to emerge was terrestriality, which happened around 240 million years ago. This means that animals evolved to walk on land instead of water or other surfaces like tree branches or leaves. 

The majority of land organisms use this method for locomotion today because it is more efficient than water-based movement and offers the ability to cover more ground than substrate specialization alone would allow for.

Walking as an example of Social Activity 

Walking as a modern culture

To fully engage in the world, we walk. 

Walking is an activity that involves all our senses to experience the world around us. It is not just about the act of walking, but it is also about the process of exploring and living in this world.

Walking can be considered a social activity because it often happens with other people. 

For example, one might take a stroll through town with friends or enjoy an early morning walk with their spouse. 

Walking can also be used as a form of exercise for personal well-being because it has been found to improve moods and reduce stress (Breslow).

Many benefits come from walking, such as better physical health, emotional health, and social ties within communities (Breslow). These benefits are created through obtaining what psychologist.

Future of Walking

The future of walking is unclear as technology continues to grow. 

The most common form of walking in the future might not be done on two feet at all, but rather on four legs or two wheels. 

It's possible that our mobility will be significantly different from what we're used to now, as we'll have options beyond walking, running, or biking.

Conclusion & Summary

We now know that the first person to walk on solid ground was not a human being. 

This is because the first evidence of walking, as we know it - upright locomotion on two feet - is found in the fossilized skeletons of  Sahelanthropus tchadensis, an early hominid species discovered in Chad, Central Africa.

Our long and evolutionary journey has led us to explore and learn about this very important part of our day-to-day lives. 

We have learned how it started and evolved over time and what we can do to keep it healthy so that we can enjoy its benefits for years to come.

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