Who Invented Walking: The Journey To Bipedalism

It just seems natural now that we’ve been doing it for so long. A baby is born, and a few months into its life, they learn how to do it. 

Walking is part of nature’s way of locomotion. So used to this process that we don’t even question where it began and who was the pioneer. 

Was walking an invention, or Is it something that has been there since the beginning of the world? 

Are humans the only beings that can walk, or is it a privilege that every animal shares? These are among the questions that this article will aim to answer as we go along.

Who Invented Walking?

There is no documented evidence of a particular person or animal who invented walking. However, according to anthropologists, it all started 3 to 4 million years ago. 

They discovered that the first bipedal humans (walked on two limbs) were from East Africa. Thanks to fossils found in Ethiopia and Kenya.

Evidence Of Bipedalism

Walking was not just a one-time invention. People do not just get up and walk. It was a gradual process that took some years, decades, and even centuries to perfect. 

Nevertheless, there is evidence that anthropologists use to show the beginning of walking on two limbs and how it gradually became what we know today.  

In the early 90s, the bone structure of the first ancestors to modern humans indicates bipedalism. In Ethiopia, fossils were discovered of a female hominin. 

Her bone structure, particularly her feet and toes, revealed a mechanical movement that relied on the two to pivot. 

It’s similar to what happens when we go for a walk today. These fossil remains were dated back to over 4.3 million years. They named her Ardi.

Several years later, they discovered another fossil of female nature as well. This fossil seems to suggest that, although Ardi was bipedal, she hadn’t perfected the art of walking.

 Lucy had much more developed pelvic and leg bone structures as they named the newly discovered fossil. She was also found in Ethiopia.

In Tanzania, a new breed of evidence indicated without a doubt that bipedalism was a thing for the human species known as Australopithecus Afarensis. Researchers discovered some footprints under a heap of volcanic soil that showed bipedalism. 

However, their impression shows a different way of walking compared to what we are used to today. These footprints were dated back to 3.5 million years ago. All this proves that walking took some time to refine. 

The Bipedal Fish

There have been discussions that a sea creature could pioneer what we know today as walking. It sounds like a fishy story, but we have to direct all the facts.

Tiktaalik is an extinct creature that dwelt in the water. They believed that they were the first to walk on four legs (tetrapods) and eventually walked on two limbs(bipedal). 

 The mudskippers’ ability to skip on land with the aid of pectoral fins’  has led many to make this conclusion. 

They can also breathe on land. They utilize oxygen using their skin which can process it for the benefit of their bodies.

Snakeheads can slither on land, while a Climbing Perch can do all these plus climb trees. Despite this, no tetrapod progenitor has been identified in any of them.

Crossopterygian fish have come close to proving this myth, but it has fallen short by not walking or breathing on land. Crossopterygian fish were believed to have existed more than 350 million years ago. 

However, scientists concluded that their existence ceased more than 300 million years later. That has, however, been proven false with the discovery of Coelacanth in the late 1930s. A fisherman off the coast of the Indian Ocean near Madagascar found this. 

Crossopterygian fish led to many more being discovered. That proved that these fishes did not advance to be the modern-day tetrapods. 

The Tiktaalik had given many anthropologists hope to answer who discovered walking. That was a long shot, but it came close to an answer. Tiktaalik has features that scientists believe could be used for upright walking and support. 

None of these features were sufficiently developed to allow bipedal walking. There are no toes, a structured pelvic bone, or a leg bone on this fish creature, indicating that it is not related to tetrapods in any way.

There is no objective evidence that supports that this fish-like creature was the genesis of walking. 

While the whole concept has some scientific facts, it is not enough to conclude that they began the walking culture. 

In their article titled Tiktaalik, Ahlberg and Clark would term this an influence on the imagination.

How To Walk Properly

Walking is a given, if not for some of us, then most of us. We’ve become so accustomed to this routine that we don’t notice that we don’t walk correctly most of the time, which impacts our posture and overall quality of life. Here is a detailed description of how to walk in the right way.

1. Head position

The head poison for a proper walk should have your chin directly parallel to the ground. That means you should keep your head held high. 

A chin lagging towards the chest will leave you with a hunched back, not to mention a painful lower back and neck.

2. Shoulder position

For better posture, the shoulder should be in a position that leaves your back straightened and elongated. 

That means the shoulders should be lowered and pushed to the back. It is another way of unburdening your back and neck. 

3. Core muscles

There are muscles in the body that are visible but are essential in how the body functions. Posture is one of those functions. 

To enjoy walking and its benefits, one must connect with their core muscles. Practice core muscle exercises that improve posture. 

4. Use heel-to steps

Proper walking stems from proper stepping. Some use their toes to strike the ground first, while others use the whole foot to step. 

However, the answer to this walking equation should be to hit the ground with the heel then work it up to the toe, which will pivot the feet off the ground.

5. Move your arms

Arm. Movement is essential while you walk. Do not keep your arms stiff at your sides. That is not to say that you rigorously move your arms as well. Move your arms softly from your shoulder to the tip of your fingers in a swinging motion.

Do not be dramatic in the movements. Subtlety is the key.

Benefits Of Walking

Walking is not just a way to get from one place to another. It has a ton of benefits to your body and mood. 

Research has proven that those who walk have more to write home than those who don’t. Here are a few well-documented advantages of walking frequently.

1. Cardiovascular health

Walking is considered a form of low-impact exercise beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Scientists have concluded that this form of exercise reduces risks in cholesterol build-up and high blood pressure. 

2. Mental health

Walking has been shown in studies to have significant mental health benefits. A walk can impact your mood, thinking capacity, and sleeping pattern. Doctors also recommend regular walking to reduce stress and anxiety. 

Every time you have writer’s block or any creative block, a walk around the block will clear that clog.

3. Muscle building

Walking might be low impact, but it has a considerable impact on muscle building. The first muscles that benefit from regular walking are the leg and glutes. 

Your stomach area benefits to a small extent, but you can reap some benefits with other exercise routines. If you want a lean body, walking is a start.

4. Respiratory health

A regular walking regime keeps your lungs fit with improved capacity. It also lessens the burden on the lungs to provide oxygen for muscles. Walking keeps muscles strong, and Ty means they will need less oxygen to function.

5. Weight loss

Walking can also help in weight reduction. Obesity has continued to rise to become one of the world’s leading causes of death. If not for opportunistic diseases, the risk of strokes and diabetes is ever-present. A 30 to 90-minute walk usually helps a person reduce considerable weight. 

Coupled with the proper diet, you can’t go wrong. 

  • Other benefits of walking include improved digestion thanks to increased blood flow.
  • Fewer aches and muscle pains because of regular exercising of these muscles and the body in general
  • Walking improves the energy levels in the body just like any other form of exercise, although the levels will differ.


Walking is part of humans, and rarely do we think about it all started. All that matters is that we use our legs. Some would argue that someone had to develop this invention or commotion, depending on how you look at it.

In the long run, we can only depend on anthropologists who, to this day,  cannot ascertain the person responsible for walking. Maybe we have been walking since the beginning, or it was necessary to lead us here. The truth is yet to be known.

John Taylor
John Taylor
John Taylor is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years of experience as a professional. He has written professionally for many different organizations, such as The Atlantic and the Boston Globe. John can write on any topic you need him to cover, from business writing to creative nonfiction pieces. His portfolio speaks for his skills; he's not only an experienced writer but also an excellent editor and researcher!


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