An equation designed by two Spanish scientists can provide a highly accurate estimate of an individual’s speed based on stride length.
The result has applications in the study of fossil trackways of human footprints.
Javier Ruiz, from the Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), and his colleague Angelica Torices, from the University of Alberta (Canada), just out of curiosity, wanted to check how accurately an individual’s speed could be calculated based on their tracks.
In the spring of 2008, they collected data as 14 palaeontology students from the Complutense University of Madrid ran along a beach in Asturias (Spain).
The results showed without needing any other data such as leg length, they were able to achieve quite a high degree of accuracy, with a margin of error of 10 to 15%.
The researchers applied their formula to estimate the speed at which the humans were travelling who left the Pleistocene era fossil trackways found in the Willandra Lakes Region of Australia.