What if…Running Replaced Walking

This is funny one (at least in my head), inspired by the current book I’m reading, What If? by the creator of XKCD, Randall Munroe. His book attempts to provide “Serious scientific  answers to absurd hypothetical questions”.

Walking to work one day I had the current thought: What if it took more effort walking compared to running?

And down the rabbit hole we go…



Firstly, why? Trying to do a slo-mo walk, takes considerable more effort and concentration compared to normal speed. So by this (flawed) logical running SHOULD be easier than walking.

In this world, walking would also lead to sweating and a higher heart rate. The slower the walk, the more effort. People would be competing based on fixed times instead of distance i.e. shortest distance traveled in 10 seconds.


Many industries would be different, especially clothing (footware and fashion), fitness / health (exercise programs) and transportation (buses would be less common).

A standard speed for running would need to be in mandated, as people most conformable speed will vary, and walking lanes would be necessary on streets.

People would be more efficient in their day travelling between A, B and C more quickly. Being early would be more common than being late.

Children will be learning to run before they walk. Old people would be the fastest runners and no walking sticks will be needed.


So that’s all I have for the moment. I find these thought experiments fun and challenge the way we think about things in the world. I’ll call these shower thought impact analysis (STIA for short). I will share more of these in the future.