Most of us know that we tire easily when we move around than staying immobile. However, you would have noticed that you feel more tired when you have been standing for a long time in a single spot rather than when you have been walking for a long distance. Our legs will feel more sore and swollen sometimes. It doesn’t make sense at first. Naturally, walking involves more work than just standing. Yet the effect is opposite to our conception. There are a number of reasons for this phenomenon.
Firstly, when we stand, our legs are working all the time and are under pressure. To keep our balance, the muscles in our calves must make small adjustments consistently, which tires our legs out easily. But when we walk, the task of keeping our balance is distributed across a greater number of muscles in various parts of our body, such as ones in our core, thighs, calves and buttocks.
When standing still, each foot and leg supports about half of the body’s weight, without a moment’s rest. While walking, the weight is constantly shifting between the two legs, which gives them a brief reprieve periodically. During standing, the body weight is more focused on the balls and heels of our feet as well, thereby straining them. When we walk, the load is distributed to different parts of the feet.
Standing still affects the working of heart as well. The heart cannot pump blood efficiently from your feet back up the length of our body if we are standing for a long time. It eventually causes the blood to pool around our feet and is the reason for the swelling in your feet and lower legs. But when we walk, the muscle contractions help the heart to perform well and keep the blood from pooling.
There is also a psychological side to this matter. Have you thought, when do you feel more bored, when standing at one place or walking. It must be the former, though the notion can be challenged in this smartphone era. Anyway, the sense of boredom makes us even more tired, whereas when walking we need to occupy our mind constantly with checking our surroundings.
If nothing else, walking causes our body to release several chemicals that improves our mood, such as endorphins. It also prompts more oxygen intake, which generally helps the body. All these facts prove why walking is better for our body rather than standing still at a single spot.
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