The Thigh "Gap" and Gait
Recently I read an article comparing beauty contestants from 50 years ago who had no "gap" between their thighs as compared to the current idea that women should have thighs that never touch. I believe this change has more to do with an acquired stride that is actually unhealthy.
In her book "8 Steps to Pain Free Back", Ester Gokhale gives examples of correct use of the body including walking a single line. If you watch little kids (2-3 years old) before they pick up any bad habits you will see they walk by placing one foot in front of the other; whereas most adults tend to place their feet on a left and right line. An extreme example is the spread-eagle walk to keep low-rise jeans from sliding down; this puts a torque on the knees and hips.
According to Webmed - 500,000 knee replacements and 175,000 hip replacements are performed annually which is being blamed on less manual labor. I maintain that this may only be part of the cause. Think of a joint like the gears of a motor or the wheels of your car; if they are uneven or out of line they will wear and break down quickly.
Stepping forward in a line requires that you allow your hips to swing in a normal rhythm; keeping your back straight, shoulders relaxed, chin level, glutes behind you and feet moving in a glide with one foot in front of the other. If you are walking with this healthy gait on the sand, you will see a single line in the middle of your path rather than left and right stride lines.
Stay tuned for more thoughts on how to prevent injury by changing what's on your feet!