

Height and Forward Roll
Name: Marissa
Status: student
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A
Question:
I am working on a project questioning if the height of a
person affects the distance they travel while performing a forward
roll. I have read your answers about the running and I assume that
the answer would be yes, but I am not sure how to "prove" it. Can you
help?
Replies:
Sounds like this is a great time for some experiments!! How about if you
have each person in your class (or as many people as you can) do a forward
roll, and then compare the length data to their height? You could also
measure the length of their legs and torso (not everyone is divided the
same), and see if one of those factors makes a difference. Make a graph with
roll length on the Y axis and people's biodata on the xaxis. Make a
separate graph for each biofactor (such as height, ratio of torso to leg
length, etc.). Can you see a trend? The more data, the better, and it is a
good idea to collect multiple rolls for each person. If you want to be more
advanced, you can do statistical analysis on the data to create a predictive
model (e.g. predict the roll length based on given biodata), or to assess
the variability of roll length. An advanced math instructor at your school
may be able to help you with the statistics. One other note  there are
usually rules for using human subjects in experiments, so be sure to ask
your teacher or principle about them!
Hope this helps,
Burr Zimmerman
One simple way to consider and answer your question is to assume the gymnast
bends himself into a perfect circle with his circumference equal to his height.
Then as he does one roll or revolution he travels a distance equal to his height
and the tallest gymnast travels the longest distance.
Carlton Schroeder
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Update: June 2012

