Why does standing in one place make legs more sore than walking?

Looping, high rollercoasters. Pink cotton candy. Carnival music. Children running around. Jolly mascots surprising guests. The Smell of warm popcorn caramel apples and candy corn. This is the lively scene in the vibrant, thrilling amusement park. There are several attractions and rides everyone is falling very long lines for.

However, as standing in line takes nearly 20 minutes, one can feel tired, and the job of waiting seems more than just a deal about impatience as it has become more like an issue about discomfort and pain. One can feel like they would much rather walk around than stand in one place. Whether it’s working in a retail store or listening to a speech made in the park, standing up makes someone feel sore. They shift from one foot to the other for a little sense of relief.

But why? Why does standing in one place make legs sorer than walking? What happens with one’s feet and legs when they stand too long? And is it even real?

Well, yes! It’s true. The Coastal Podiatry Associates, a team of specialists that focus on Foot problems, it is worse to stand on your feet for an hour than walk. And that truly is more tiring to hold in one place because it makes one’s feet and leg muscles to fire for a long time. Whereas when people walk, not only muscles of the feet are engaged, but also the leg muscles thus, leg and feet muscles work together. (click here for more details)

When one stands in one place, the legs are supporting whatever weight the body carries. While doing so, to keep the body straight and upright, muscles are always working, especially those found in calves. From time to time, these muscles adjust to keep the body steady.

As mentioned earlier, the feet and legs muscles share the job when walking. Other than muscles found in these two areas, the muscles on arms support also to balance the body. By swinging the arms in the same direction as that of the opposing leg, the angular momentum of the body is reduced, thus balancing the rotational motion made. The arms are not alone, though, to help the leg and feet muscles as core muscles keep the person stable, and the butt muscles empower bipedal animals like humans to propel them forward while walking.

When standing, lymph and blood fluids pool on calves, ankles, and feet because the heart cannot pump blood efficiently and effectively upwards from the feet to upper parts of the body. In turn, the heart relies on muscular contractions that are a result of bodily movement like walking. So, the muscles have to work harder so that the blood would flow more vigorously towards the heart when merely standing up.

When walking, weight is shifted from one foot to another. This means that while one foot is at work, the other gets some “rest” period. However, when standing still, each foot and leg have to bear half the job but will have no rest. The leg and feet take all the work, especially the heels and the ball of the feet, but when walking, the other parts of the feet bear the load.

Other than physically affecting the body, the difference between walking and standing up affects humans even mentally. When simply standing up, one is bound to feel bored. The view a person sees and processes in his or her mind when standing up is only a small fraction of what a person walking absorbs. When walking, a person’s mind is kept busy while glancing at the many things that vary as he or she steps into a distance farther from the original location. This diverts anyone from the thought that, “Oh! My feet are getting so sore!”. When just standing up, a person has more time and opportunity to think about the load and pain, the legs and feet are experiencing. (click here for more details)

When engaging the body in more upbeat movements such as a fast walk, jog or run, neurochemicals are released such as endorphins, which trigger positive emotions, thus improving mood and interacting with brain receptors that reduce pain, and stress perception. Adrenaline can also be released, helping the heart pump faster and deliver oxygen to the brain and other muscles. (click here for more details)

According to Statista in 2017, the average American walks 4,774 steps a day while the rate goes up to 6,880 steps a day for people in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, a study shows that Amish men have more than 18,000 steps a day! It’s been demonstrated double calories are burnt when walking than standing (324 vs. 186 calories). Maybe it’s time to keep up with the Amish and walk more than stand! Other than burning more calories, it’s less painful. (click here for more details)