The clumsy and awkward gait and mannerisms of teenage boys have always generated considerable mirth. This awkward phase has always been looked upon as a passing phase which all boys go through, a part of growing up. As peer pressure builds up, this is also the phase when there is an overriding desire to impress the opposite sex and act cool, but unfortunately for the youngsters, the clumsy limbs make the effect all the more comical.
Now, incredibly it has emerged that there is a scientific explanation behind the clumsiness. When teenagers hit a growth spurt at puberty, suddenly their bodies go out of proportion and they find themselves with these long gangly limbs. They grow so fast that their brains simply cannot keep up with their bodies. A study published in Biomedical Engineering Online indicates that the clumsy gaits are due to the fact that teenage boys grow so rapidly that their brains are just unable to keep up with their bodies. On the other hand, those boys who don’t shoot up so fast can take solace in fact that they are able to coordinate their brains with their limbs more effectively.
When boys shoot up so rapidly, this interferes with the body’s ability to control motor skills like walking in particular and this leads to that typical clumsy gait. For the boys who gain height with rapidity, the body takes time to adjust to this change in dimensions on which hinges motor control behavior while the boys who grow steadily are able to hold their own and walk smoothly.
In another vein, this study has also highlighted the importance of understanding developments in motor control as indispensable to effective therapies in individuals suffering from cognitive or physical damage. This study has not only shed new light on what was earlier perceived as a routine occurrence associated with growing up but could also go a long way in understanding motor control and thus helping individuals with serious or life-threatening ailments. A door to a room has been thrown open which could lead to another secret passage. The human body is truly a fascinating piece of work.