Published on 13 December 2021

How Does Human Body Balance Itself While Walking?

Table of Contents

The sense of balance is also called equilibrioception and is responsible for perceiving balance and spatial orientation. Equilibrioception prevents humans and other animals from falling over when standing or walking. It requires several sensory organs to work together. 

Balance is the vital sense that gives you stability; good balance is generally associated with good, stable body posture. The essential of body balance is shown by the vast number of connections it makes with the brain. 

These connections reveal that the force of movement we create and encounter in the environment can affect many parts of the brain, including those controlling vision, hearing, sleep, memory, and digestion.

How Does Body Balance While Walking?

Balance is the body's power to maintain its center of gravity while standing upright or walking. The pattern of limb movement of the person while walking is called Gait. Both Gait and Balance rely on the complex interplay between the brain.

The nervous system, sensory organs, and musculoskeletal systems. An issue in any of the areas can affect your Gait and balance and may also increase the chance of falling.   

Control And Feel?

The body’s balance system works by position detection, feedback, and adjustments using muscles, joints, eyes, brain, and inner ear for communication. Proper communication and coordination between what we sense (sensory input) and our actions (motor output) balance the human body adequately.

At the back of the brain, there is the cerebellum which meets the spine. The cerebellum acts as the body’s control center. It receives messages about the body’s positioning from the inner ear, eyes, muscles, and joints. It then sends the information to the muscles to adjust the posture or position accordingly. The data gets carried through the vestibular system.  

Frequently asked questions

Dynamic balance is needed when your body is doing activities like squatting, Standing, or walking on the leg.
Some of our largest muscle groups, like the whole lower body's glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles, are used for walking. Your adductors (inner thigh muscles) are also crucial for balance because they align the hips.
Your brain has used the message received by the eyes, ears( including the inner ear, which has a vestibular system), and other body parts such as muscle, skin, and joints to keep balancing your body.

Behold The Connection Of Body Parts For Balance

  • Eyes And Ears

Sensory receptors in the retina are called rods and cones. Cones help with seeing colors, while rods are better suited when the lights are dim at night. They send impulses to the brain, which provide visuals of the surroundings. Then the vestibular system sends motor control signals via the nervous system to the eyes in an automatic function called the vestibule-ocular reflex. 

When your head is steady, the impulses from vestibular organs to the left and right sides of the ear are the same. When you move to either side, the number of impulses increases and decreases on the other side. The number of impulses to the ears also controls the movement of the eyes. 

  • Muscles

The sensory receptors that carry information from the skin, muscles, and joints respond to stretching or pressuring the surrounding tissues. These senses help our brain to determine where in space our body is. 

Signals from the neck muscles determine where our head is turned. Signals from the ankles indicate if we are standing or where our body is heading towards.   

  • Vestibular System

The vestibular system is a part of the nervous system responsible for providing us with the spatial positioning of our head, body, and motion. There are two sets of organs in the inner ear; the semi-circular canal, which responds to rotational movements, and the utricle and saccule within the vestibule. These organs respond to changes in the position of the head in response to gravity. 

What Happens When Balance Goes Wrong?

Imagine suddenly losing a sense of vision or hearing. Sounds terrifying, right? Similarly, the sudden loss of balance would make us feel dizzy. You may feel dizzy and frightened at the beginning stage. You may not be able to perform the daily tasks well. Later, with time you will be able to rely on other senses, such as vision and hearing. 

Causes Of Balance Problems

Balance Problem can cause due to various reasons example includes

  • Musculoskeletal injuries like
    • Tendinitis,
    • Bone Fractures,
    • Sprains 
  • Vision problems
  • Problem hearing (in the inner ear)
  • Having joint or bone diseases like arthritis
  • Feet problems like having corns and calluses on the feet.
  • Neurological disorders such as
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Stroke
    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

Symptoms Of Balance Problems

Signs and symptoms of Balance Problems are:

  • Unsteadiness or losing balance
  • Vertigo( sense of motion or spinning)
  • Feeling like you might fall 
  • Vision problems or change like blurriness
  • Confusion
  • Motion sickness
  • Weak leg muscle
  • Numbness on feet
  • Presyncope( feeling like you may be fainting out)

Whenever you feel such symptoms, just have a pre-deciding factor and take care. If at all it doesnt cure, consult your doctor. 

How Can You Improve Balance?

Whatever you are facing in life, there is a solution. You have to follow the given instructions and follow thoroughly. This will help you get off the problem. 


Simply walking more often can benefit you by strengthening your lower body. The legs and spine are the foundation for a good posture. Having a good posture improves balance.

Switch Heel To Toe Walk

You can do this exercise from your home or outdoors. It is an effective way to improve your balance.

Standing On One Leg

You can do this exercise anywhere you can. Simple stand on one leg while your other is not touching the ground. For beginners, try to stand near a pole or a wall to use it as support. Do this for as long as you can on one leg, then switch to the other.

The Head Turn Walk

This is a little advanced version of walking exercises. You have to look everywhere from time to time and shift your focus.

Do this exercise by following these steps

  • Begin to walk
    • For every other step, turn your head to the left and then to the right. Continue this for 10-15 repetitions
    • Continue walking; move your head up and down every other step. Continue this for 10-15 repetitions
    • Continue walking, now tip your head towards your shoulder on the left, then right, every other step
    • Continue for a few repetitions.
    • You can stop or slow down if you feel dizzy.
  • Walking backward
    • This can be pretty challenging. 
    • Be sure you are in a safe place where there is no traffic or bothersome for other people. 
    • Walk backward in a straight line as much as possible.

You can just follow the suggestions for your own understanding of your balance. This will help you to have a constant sense of balance.

Bottom Line From Practical Anxiety Solution

The human body consists of a complex set of sensory and motor systems. Coordination and communication between them are vital for us to have balance. We can treat imbalances by exercising or seeking professional medical help. 

Balance problems can cause instability or difficulty in standing or walking. According to the cause, a person can suffer from vertigo, dizziness,  and motion sick. 

The treatment depends on the condition of the patient. Some options include medication or surgery to manage the condition and various physical therapy techniques to reduce the risk of falls, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life. 

  • CLARKE, L. H., & BENNETT, E. (2012). “You learn to live with all the things that are wrong with you”: gender and the experience of multiple chronic conditions in later life. Ageing and Society, 33(2), 342–360. 
  • Huber, M. E., Chiovetto, E., Giese, M., & Sternad, D. (2020). Rigid soles improve balance in beam walking, but improvements do not persist with bare feet. Scientific Reports, 10(1). 
  • Kaufman, K. R., Brey, R. H., Chou, L.-S., Rabatin, A., Brown, A. W., & Basford, J. R. (2006). Comparison of subjective and objective measurements of balance disorders following traumatic brain injury. Medical Engineering & Physics, 28(3), 234–239. 
  • Miall, D. S., & Kuiken, D. (2002). A feeling for fiction: becoming what we behold. Poetics, 30(4), 221–241. 
  • Reimann, H., Fettrow, T. D., Thompson, E. D., Agada, P., McFadyen, B. J., & Jeka, J. J. (2017). Complementary mechanisms for upright balance during walking. PLOS ONE, 12(2), e0172215.