Why Extending Your Arms Helps Your Equilibrium

It has to do with your center of gravity.

Mark Roth doing a balancing act

Whether walking along a train track rail or across the top of a fence, having your arms outstretched helps you maintain your balance.

Whether walking a tightrope or a wall or a rafter, stretching your arms out from your sides seems to help keep you on the rope, wall, or rafter.

Why? Or is it all an illusion?

Unaided, a person’s center of balance is located just beneath their ribcage, about halfway from the ground to the top of a person’s head. This means that we balance from this part of our bodies. Carrying a long pole lowers our center of balance, just as holding out our arms to the sides does. If the pole is long enough, a person’s center of balance can be lowered to their knees, ankles or even the tops of their feet. A lower center of balance makes it easier for anyone to balance while walking across even a narrow rope.

Center of Balance

To get along well in life, we need a good sense of balance — physically, mentally, socially, spiritually. So along those lines, a few random thoughts…

People have tried for too long to “balance” their secular life with their “Christian” life. (May a Christian Do That?)

Blessing God does not undo my railing against another. It won’t even act as a counter balance to my evil speaking, somehow evening the score and giving me a clean slate. (Window to My Heart)

feet on a slackline

Attempting to balance guilt with sacrifice is no substitute for repentance. (A New Message Declared)

Our flesh craves the pseudo-safety and bogus balance of the middle. (Choosing to Disobey Truth)

Once enough obedience accumulates on one side of the scale, is a little disobedience tolerable on the other? (Can We Be Too Obedient?)

By the way, it seems I read somewhere that walking crouched also lowers your center of balance. That should connect with humility somehow…

1 thought on “Why Extending Your Arms Helps Your Equilibrium

  1. Oh, you got me. I thought you were going to go a different direction with this…like holding our hands out to others helps us balance or holding our hands out in praise helps us balance….both of which I think are true.

    (and now you know why a tight rope walker carries a LONG pole. Did you know that using counterbalance, you can balance a half dollar horizontally on the rim of a glass? Take two forks overlap the tined portions so that the handles point in opposite directions, one to the left, one to the right. Place one edge of the half dollar in the uppermost slot of the tines of the forks, then place the other edge of the half-dollar on the edge of the rm of the glass. The handles of the forks will drop slightly causing the lower tines to push up on the bottom of the coin, keeping it from falling off the rim of the glass.

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