The energy cost of human locomotion on land and in water

Int J Sports Med. 1986 Apr;7(2):55-72. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1025736.


The energy cost of the forms of locomotion discussed throughout this article is summarized in Table 9. This table, as well as the preceding sections of this article, are designed to provide a rather comprehensive and simple set of information for potential readers: medical doctors, who should be able to prescribe to their patients (obese, hypertensive, cardiac, etc.) the correct amount and type of exercise, thus making use of exercise as of any other drug, of which it is imperative to know posology and contraindications; athletes, trainers, and sportsmen in general, who should gear correctly their diet to the type and amount of physical exercise; physical educators, who should be aware of the specific characteristics of the exercise modes they propose to their pupils, as a function of their sex, age, and athletic capacity. However, besides these practical applications, the notions discussed throughout this article bear also a more general interest. Indeed, they allow a better understanding of the motion of man, that is, of the only machine, which besides moving about, also tries to understand how he does it.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bicycling
  • Efficiency / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Locomotion*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Running
  • Skating
  • Sports*
  • Swimming
  • Water*


  • Water