Status Report

Effects of exoplanetary gravity on human locomotor ability

By SpaceRef Editor
August 23, 2018
Filed under , ,

Nikola Poljak, Dora Klindzic, Mateo Kruljac

(Submitted on 22 Aug 2018)

At some point in the future, if mankind hopes to settle planets outside the Solar System, it will be crucial to determine the range of planetary conditions under which human beings could survive and function. In this article, we apply physical considerations to future exoplanetary biology to determine the limitations which gravity imposes on several systems governing the human body. Initially, we examine the ultimate limits at which the human skeleton breaks and muscles become unable to lift the body from the ground. We also produce a new model for the energetic expenditure of walking, by modelling the leg as an inverted pendulum. Both approaches conclude that, with rigorous training, humans could perform normal locomotion at gravity no higher than 4g Earth.


12 pages, 4 figures, to be published in The Physics Teacher

Subjects: Popular Physics (physics.pop-ph); Biological Physics (

Cite as: arXiv:1808.07417 [physics.pop-ph] (or arXiv:1808.07417v1 [physics.pop-ph] for this version)

Submission history

From: Nikola Poljak [view email] 

[v1] Wed, 22 Aug 2018 16:10:38 GMT (291kb,D)

SpaceRef staff editor.