Your feet were made for walking

Your feet are probably the most reliable form of transport you'll ever have. In fact, the strength and mechanical structure of the human foot can compete with some of the best cars out on the market.

Don't believe me?  The following interesting ten facts about the feet were provided by Dallas Fell, chiropodist.

  • Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior hero gave his name to the strongest tendon in the body.
  • The average person walks about 160 000 kilometres in their lifetime, enough to walk around the earth 4 times. That works out to around 6 and a half kilometres a day.
  • Each step can put up to 4 times your body weight through your feet which adds up to a cumulative force of over 500 tons a day. With certain sporting activities this force can go up to 7 times bodyweight.
  • There are 26 bones in each foot, a total of 52 bones in the both the feet. There are 206 bones in the body which means more than a quarter of all our bones in our bodies are in our feet.
  • There are 33 joints in each foot.
  • Over 100 ligaments hold all the joints together in each foot.
  • 20 separate muscles work individually and together to move all of these joints.
  • There are more nerve endings per square centimetre in the foot than any other part of the body. Our feet constantly supply us with information about the surface we walk on, without our being even being aware of it. They tell us whether the surface is hot or cold, rough or smooth, which side it slopes to, etc.
  • There are about 250 000 sweat glands in the feet. The average person will lose about a cup of moisture a day through the feet.
  • At birth the bones in the foot are mostly cartilage and slowly harden as the foot grows. The bones in the foot will only be completely ossified (hardened) at around 21 years of age.

(Dallas Fell, Chiropodiatrist, updated August 2010)

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