Do you like to swing your arms when you walk? Why do we do that? Some evolutionary experts have said that swinging arms while walking is a leftover trait from our evolutionary roots, going back to when our supposed ancestors walked on all fours. They claim it is a waste of energy, requiring us to eat more food in order to generate the force necessary for arm-swinging.

Recently, a team of specialists decided to test that idea. They recruited 10 people and asked them to try walking four different ways: with a normal arm swing; with their arms held at their sides; with their arms folded; and while swinging their arms opposite to the normal swing pattern. Then they measured the amount of energy used to do each of these activities, based on oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. What did they discover?

It seems that arm-swinging in a normal pattern actually helps humans while they walk. It expends much less energy, compared to walking in the other three manners. Folding their arms while walking required those in the study to use 12% more energy than normal arm-swinging. Normal arm-swinging also reduces strain on lower leg muscles, because it reduces the up-and-down motion of the body. Try walking while holding your arms to your sides. The up-and-down motion of your body increases by as much as 63%!

So when you walk, swing away! Rather than a leftover from our supposed animal ancestors, it is part of the unique design given humans by their Creator.