Improve Your Pace with New Wearable Technology for Running

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Are you a fan of running? Then you’ll probably want to get your hands on this new wearable technology for running, which can reduce the metabolic cost of running and, in turn, improve your running pace even without weeks of training.


“Homo sapiens has evolved to become very good at distance running, but our results show that further improvements to this already extremely efficient system are possible.” (Philippe Malcolm, Assistant Professor at the University of Nebraska)


New Wearable Technology for Running

In a study entitled “Reducing the metabolic cost of running with a tethered soft exosuit,” researchers at Harvard’s Wyss Institute and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) built upon previous soft exosuit technology to develop wearable technology for running.


According to the study published in Science Robotics, the exosuit applies forces to the hip joint using thin, flexible wires that assist the muscles during each stride. Using an off-board actuation system, this exosuit can reduce the metabolic cost of running by 5.4% compared to costs of running without the exosuit.


“The biological profile only takes into account the amount of torque in the hip joint, but the human body is not a series of independently acting parts — it’s full of muscles that act on multiple joints to coordinate movement. Applying force to the hip affects the whole-body system, and we need to consider that in order to give the best assistance.” (Giuk Lee, Wyss postdoctoral fellow)



“Our work at the Wyss is biologically inspired and, as shown by Conor’s team’s advance, sometimes we learn that a conventional biological view of a mechanism is not really how living systems work; we need to place individual components — in this case, a human hip joint — in context of the living whole. When we do this right, transformative new technologies emerge. Studies like this are also a great example of the power of thinking beyond the limitations that nature has handed us and asking, ‘Can we do better?’” (Donald Ingber, Wyss Director)


Indeed, progress from this new wearable technology for running gives us a promising future of technologies that can help improve human capacities. These also translate to improvements in health and fitness as you reap all the benefits of reduced metabolic costs of running.


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