About My Work

 
 

HEALTH COSTS OF MAINTAINING THE ESTHETIC TRADITION OF BODY ART THROUGH FOOT DECORATION WITH SHOES

and

 THE WONDER OF
 THE BARE FOOT ON NATURALLY
DEPOSITED GROUND





MAIN CONCEPTS PRESENTED IN THIS WEBSITE

1  Humans are capable of safe and efficient mobility when the bare foot is interacting with naturally deposited ground. This adaptation through natural selection involving early bipedal hominids over millions of years, and humans for the last 300,000 years. Contemporary humans retain these adaptations that largely operates through behavior mediated via plantar sensory feedback.

2  Footwear appear recently in the human story mainly as an expression of the ancient aesthetic tradition of body art through foot decoration. Social norms in Renaissance Europe encouraged all social classes to wear shoes for the first time in human history. Shoe use spread through the norms requiring universal footwear use, and colonization and cultural imperialism.

3  All footwear examples exact a health and efficient mobility cost mainly through insufficient plantar sensory feedback which results from an interface being placed between plantar and support surfaces. This attenuates mainly plantar shear and vertical deformations which are adequate stimuli for plantar SA II mechanoreceptors. Also, this interface often amplifies frontal plane foot movement which further destabilizes. In this sensory poor environment, human behavior mainly directed at improving stability when mobile results in  acute and chronic overloading of foot structures. Further, it has recently been found that footwear induced inadequate plantar load re-distribution results in plantar skin discomfort that humans avoid through becoming sedentary. Consequently Renaissance Europeans were the first population to become sedentary.

4  Humans are not biologically sedentary, therefore they prefer weight-bearing over sitting. Footwear use is the environmental constraint on weight-bearing that caused humans to become sedentary.

 This new information helps to explain an array of presently poorly understood contemporary health issues. Mitigation of the health consequences of sedentary behavior can be better addressed through knowing its cause. Further, the recent origin of sedentary behavior indicates that humans are poorly adapted to maintaining the semi-recumbent posture intrinsic to a sedentary lifestyle. This may explain common problems of distal colon motility. For example the distal colon distention caused by inadequate gravitational aid to distal colon motility caused by the sedentary lifestyle may account for the present near universal symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome,  diverticula formation and eventual diverticulitis. Further, this website identifies obesity as not inherent to humans, but rather a consequence of attenuated energy utilization from reduced weight-bearing time.

6  Gait disturbances caused by footwear are addressed in this website. Excessive stride length caused by footwear may for patellar tracking disorders such as patella dislocation, chondromalacia patella and  patellofemoral pain disorder. Poor sensory feedback provided by footwear accounts for falls and ankle spraining.

This website provides access to my original publications, and puts them into accessible form for both researchers and non-scientists. The ultimate goal of this website is to stimulate interest and thereby advance research in this area. Another objective is to encourage application of the principles presented here to primary prevention and injury treatment.