The Biomechanics of Walking Backwards

Neil Arun Tolani :

Mentor: Rodger Kram, Assistant Professor of Integrative Biology

Neil's project will contribute to our understanding of the biomechanics of human locomotion. By studying backwards walking using human subjects on a treadmill, he hopes to discover how the inverted pendulum mechanism involved in walking is affected by reversing the direction in which human beings normally move. Through further quantitative analysis, Neil intends to determine which biomechanical factors set the metabolic cost of normal walking. The results of his research will have relevant implications for physical therapists and gait-disabled persons, for whom backwards walking is often used as a rehabilitation technique. This project will also help further prepare him for his intended career in biomedical research.