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I was walking one day to work when suddenly a woman hit my arm with hers. Apparently she swings her arms wildly while walking. I asked myself if that was normal. Is that how people normally walk? It piqued my curiosity and started to oberve other people.
People have various styles and techniques on how they swing their arms while walking. It goes from very soft, timid and calculated arm swings to a vigorous, I-don't-care and beastly manner of swinging. It was fascinating to observe while looking like weirdo staring at people's arms.
I also tried observing my own way of walking. It's your typical and boring kind of arm swing so I was disappointed at myself for not having an interesting style of arm swing. As I am more aware of my arm swings, it also made me want to stop swinging my arms altogether. It was a lot of work because if my mind wanders off to something else, my arms start swinging again. You have to be mindful and focused if you want to stop the swinging.
I went to work and forgot all about it. When I got home, the curiosity started again and would not stop bugging me. I had to find out the reason behind it. So as your modern man, I did what I had to do, I Googled it. I know I could have gone to the library but it's not like a matter of life and death.
According to one of the articles that I read, the swinging motion is due to biomechanics. Biomedical engineers from a University found that swinging our arms is a part of being a bipedal or walking on two feet. It is discovered that walking while swinging your hands is the most efficient form of motion. Arm swinging requires little effort as it comes naturally for the human body to do so. In the conducted experiments, it was discovered that people who kept their arms steady actually had to exert more effort to walk. In contrast, people who swung their arms walked 20% faster. Swinging our arms comes so naturally that allowing them to swing actually acquires less energy than if you were to hold your arms in place while walking.
It can be likened to a pendulum. When your legs move, so does your body. This movement forces your arms to sway, just like the pendulum. Your arms move involuntarily as a result of this motion. In this way, the muscles just go with the movement. An insignificant amount of energy is spent by the muscles to keep the motion in control.
Think of it like falling in love. It just sort of...happens. Go ahead and try controlling your arm swings. It might be a good discipline training for you.