Warning sign indicating a rough walking surface, which isn’t a problem for animals with more stable body types, such as cats and dogs. Image Credit: National Park Service
The human body typically operates in positions that are not very stable and we must constantly use our muscles to adjust our body position and counteract the tendency of our bodies to fall over. We commonly refer to this skill as balance. For the most part balance is subconscious, but watching a toddler who has just learned to walk will provide an accentuated idea of how much actual work is required for humans to stay upright. Toddlers are especially unstable due to their disproportionately massive heads, and after this unit we will understand why that feature so greatly affects their stability.