Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
In a study proving that chivalry is not dead, researchers found that when walking with female partners, men tend to slow down in order to match the woman's speed, but only if the woman is a romantic partner.
The researchers, from Seattle Pacific University, published their results in the journal PLOS ONE.
Apparently, we all have an "optimal walking speed," at which we are able to minimize our energy expenditure. This is unique to each individual and varies with mass and lower limb length.
As a result, men tend to have optimal walking speeds that are faster than those of women. But the researchers say that when men and women walk together, one of the two needs to pay the "energetic cost of deviating from his or her optimal speed."
To examine speed choices among men and women, the researchers had 22 individuals - 11 men and 11 women, who made up 11 romantically linked couples - walk around a track under three different conditions:
As the participants walked the track, the researchers recorded their speeds every 100 m.
When the males walked with their female romantic partners, the researchers observed that they slowed down by an average of 7% to match the female's speed.
However, when men and women who were not romantic partners walked together, the paces did not significantly change. Though the females slightly sped up and the males slightly slowed down, the researchers say that the lack of a significant change suggests that pace adjustments only occur for romantic partners.
They say that because the men in a romantic partnership adjusted their pace to slow down for their female partner, "the female is spared the potentially increased caloric cost required to walk together."
These results, say the researchers, could have further implications for mobility or reproductive strategies of groups, and they could even help interpret fossil footprint trails or hunter gatherer strategies.
Interestingly, when the females travelled together, they walked even slower than they did with their partner. The researchers say this could relate to previous work showing that women report feeling very close to their female friends.
By contrast, previous studies have shown that men report not feeling as close or intimate with their male friends, and indeed, the men walked more quickly when walking together than they did when they walked alone.
Whether walking fast or slow, the participants in the study will have gained heart benefits, as Medical News Today recently reported that walking reduces heart risks as much as running does.
Written by Marie Ellis
Copyright: Medical News Today
Not to be reproduced without the permission of Medical News Today.
Energetic Consequences of Human Sociality: Walking Speed Choices among Friendly Dyads, Janelle Wagnild, Cara M. Wall-Scheffler, PLOS ONE, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076576, published online 23 October 2013.
Visit our Psychology / Psychiatry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Ellis, Marie. "Men walk slower with romantic partners." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 24 Oct. 2013. Web.
12 Dec. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267826>
Ellis, M. (2013, October 24). "Men walk slower with romantic partners." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267826.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2013 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.