Understanding Balance: The Mechanics of Posture and Locomotion
We generally take it for granted that we can stand upright and move around without much difficulty. However, when we realise that the human body, like that of any animal, is a compliant, springy structure with a distributed mass, we can appreciate that the task of achieving and explaining balance is far from simple.
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activity adjustments afferent angle angular acceleration animal axis axon body bones canals cell membrane central nervous system centre of gravity changes collagen component compression curve deformation depends developed direction effect endolymph equilibrium exerted extension feet Figure filaments flexion foot forelegs forward ground head hindlegs horizontal impulses increase inertia input intrafusal muscle-fibres involved joint labyrinth length lifted ligaments limb load locomotion magnitude mass mechanism molecules moment of inertia momentum motion motoneurons motor units move movement muscle muscle cells myosin neck reflexes nerve nerve-fibres neural neuromasts normal nuclear bag fibres nuclear chain fibres organs otolith overbalancing pattern phase plane platform position posture produce Purkinje cells receptors relative response rotation sarcomere sensory sequence side signal skull spindle stimulus stress forces stretch structure supporting forces supporting reaction surface synaptic tendon tension tilt time-course torque transverse trunk upthrust vector velocity vertebrae vertebral column vertical walk weight