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Running Injury Acoustics

July 6, 2017

Scientists are measuring the acoustic properties of the shockwaves produced as our feet strike the ground as we run, helping to explain why so many runners get injured.



(Pixabay/Public Domain CC0)


Running acoustics. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Runners are highly prone to injuries resulting from shockwaves that travel through the body when their feet strike the ground. Acoustician Delphine Chadefaux of the Institute of Movement Sciences at Aix-Marseille University in France studies the biomechanics of running with technology previously used to investigate the interaction between musicians and their instruments. Her team measures the acoustical vibrations produced by running. She presented the preliminary findings at the Acoustics ’17 meeting in Boston.

DELPHINE CHADEFAUX (Institute of Movement Sciences in Aix-Marseille University, France):

We observed that the energy propagating in the lower limb is quite higher when we are running barefoot than when we are wearing shoes, but just up to the knee.  


The research could help efforts to reduce sports injuries in the future. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Susanne Bard