The energetics of walking on sand and grass at various speeds

Ergonomics. 2006 Jun 10;49(7):651-60. doi: 10.1080/00140130600558023.


This study investigated the energetics of walking on sand and grass. Fourteen adult males, participated in the study. Participants had a mean age of 34.6 years old, 72.6 kg in mass and 172.5 cm in stature, who walked at 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 km per h on sand and grass surfaces. Physiological measures included heart rate, O(2) uptake, CO(2) exhalation, ventilation and relative O(2) uptake using a MetaMax Ergospirometer. Speed was controlled in a methodology similar to the 'Multistage 20-m Shuttle Run Test'. Data were collected during physiological steady rate at each determined speed. A minimum of 2 h rest was enforced between randomized conditions. Results indicate that there was a significant increase (p < 0.01) in all measured physiological indices indicative of energy expenditure when walking on sand compared to grass at 3-7 km per h, with the greatest disparity between the surfaces (ratio = 1.63) in relative O(2) consumption at 5 km per h.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Gait
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Poaceae*
  • Silicon Dioxide*
  • Walking / physiology*


  • Silicon Dioxide