Friday, December 14, 2007

Posture, Please!

According to recent study, as written about here, in an article from story has been all over the news recently; this is one citation), women's bodies have evolved differently then men's, to assist them coping with weight shifts that occur during pregnancy.

An excerp from the article states:
"The maternal center of mass shifts forward about three to five centimeters during pregnancy, so that it's no longer beautifully aligned with the hips and feet," said study author Katherine Whitcome, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University's department of anthropology who began the research as a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin.

Whitcome explained that the female body compensates for this shift in several ways. One is to recruit more back muscles. Solely using these muscles, Whitcome said, would quickly cause muscle fatigue and make women more prone to injury. Instead, the female back has evolved to allow three lower vertebrae to form a larger curve to support the growing fetus. In men, only two vertebrae form this curve, called lordosis, she explained.

Females also have a key hip joint that is larger and can flare out further, according to the study, published in the Dec. 13 issue of Nature.

I'm 45 years old, and it's likely I'll never have firsthand experience with the pregnancy issue, but I am thinking I still may gotten benefit from this evolutionary process. Namely, I climb like a girl!

Now I'm thinking that the climbing world isn't really backed by the kind of funding that entailed to make this physiological study, and so there's probably not much data on how this change in women's vertebrae and hip joints affects our climbing. But I have the feeling it may just be one of the keys in unlocking that mystery as to why women are almost always more graceful as climbers then their male peers.

I decided to take my query to the streets, and have posted it here, in the Techniques and Training forum of the most-visited rock climbing website I know of. Of course, the place is....odd...and I have no idea how the thread will develop. There's as good a chance that the topic will devolve into grunts, groans and unintelligible acronyms as contain useful information from climbers in fields that may have insight into the topic. Follow the link, and see what happens.....

If you enjoy my blog and would like to subscribe through RSS, you can click the FeedBurner Badge here. Thanks for your support!  Subscribe in a reader

Stumble Upon Toolbar

No comments: