The human feet are an ingenious piece of natural engineering. They are capable of incredible feats and have adapted to enable humans to conduct bipedal locomotion (walking on two feet) effectively and efficiently. Feet are vital for everyday life and are also prone to change and damage. As they are constantly under periods of change, stress and come into contact with various microorganisms, the world of the human foot can make for some interesting characteristics. Below is a list of some facts about the human feet ranging from the weird to the wonderful:
– The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, over 100 ligaments and 19 muscles.
– 25% of the bones in the human body are located in the feet.
– The human feet have over 250 000 sweat glands.
– Contrary to popular belief, most pairs of feet are not identical. One is often larger or longer than the other
– Women are 4 times more likely to develop foot problems than men.
– The total distance an average person walks in their lifetime (6000 – 10 000 steps per day) is enough to travel around the Earth 4 times.
– Standing still in one position requires more effort than walking, because the work load is shared by more muscle groups.
– The afternoon is the best time to purchase shoes as the feet swell during the day.
– The feet can often be a mirror to a person’s general health. Many conditions such as diabetes, joint, nerve or circulatory disorders will show symptoms in the feet.
– During an average day of walking, the total amount of forces on the feet can equal to hundreds of tons.
– 9 out of 10 women wear shoes that are too small for them.
– Fingernails and toenails grow faster during hot months, pregnancy and during your teens.
– About 60-70% of diabetics will develop some form of nerve damage in the feet which can lead to ulceration, infection, amputation and death.
– Plantar warts, ringworm, athlete’s foot and bacterial infections are just a few of the conditions one can contract from using communal showers.
– The big toe can often be used to transplanted to replace an amputated or damaged thumb.
– The most toes that a single person has had on their feet is 13.
Dr. Anel Kapur (Podiatrist)