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  #1  
Old 10-09-2000, 08:15 PM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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It struck me that if and when I jog I tend to do it around parks in an anti-clockwise direction and for no apparent reason. The vast majority of my fellow 'athletes' do likewise. I think I also remember the mass Sunday morning jog around a portion of Central Park in New York also taking that direction.

So I'm wondering two things:

(1)Am I correct in thinking most people have a natural inclination to jog anti-clockwise (to the right ?), and

(2) If I were to exercise in Sydney, Australia would I still be inclined to jog my natural anti-clockwise whilst there in which case I'd actually jog clockwise, being upside down an' all ?
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2000, 08:21 PM
Shatzi Shatzi is offline
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Woah...

That's a damn good question!
I have no clue :>
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2000, 08:25 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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As the Master said:

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a4_113b.html
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2000, 08:28 PM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Here's my theory: since we write in the left-to-right direction, we think of that direction as forward. When you come up to a path or track and have no reason to pick one direction over the other, you are more likely to turn right.

Or maybe it's the Coriolis force.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2000, 08:49 PM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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Thanks BobT but I'm not sure that quite hits the spot. Discounting organised events ("they do it this way round so perhaps we should also") and mechanical devices (could be just convention) leaves only the interesting human preference for skating around ice-rinks in an anti-clockwise direction.

scr4 - well, maybe............

I say this in hushed tones but Cecil seems unusually circumspect on this one………..

Any other joggers out there ?

What about the southern hemisphere ?
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2000, 08:57 PM
Lawmill Lawmill is offline
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My stronger leg is my right leg. The outside leg would seem to do more work when you run, as it's responsible for pushing you "inwards". Hence, putting the right(generally stronger) leg on the outside.
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2000, 04:53 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by London_Calling
It struck me that if and when I jog I tend to do it around parks in an anti-clockwise direction and for no apparent reason. The vast majority of my fellow 'athletes' do likewise. I think I also remember the mass Sunday morning jog around a portion of Central Park in New York also taking that direction.

So I'm wondering two things:

(1)Am I correct in thinking most people have a natural inclination to jog anti-clockwise (to the right ?) ...
I have no idea why it is like this, but I have heard Lawmill's theory before and find it very plausible. However, it does not explain why I move in an anti-clockwise direction even when I'm not actually running, ie when I mark trails for the Hash House Harriers ("The Drinking Club with a Running Problem"). I can't say that I have kept records of the trails I have layed, but a guesstimation is that some 90% of them have been anti-clockwise (the remaining 10% have been deliberate efforts not to).

BTW: Wouldn't it be more accurate to describe anti-clockwise as "to the left"?
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Old 10-10-2000, 05:21 AM
Spiny Norman Spiny Norman is offline
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Floater! - On-on!

S. Norman
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2000, 06:22 AM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Floater

BTW: Wouldn't it be more accurate to describe anti-clockwise as "to the left"?
Well to my mind, yes and no. When I approach the jogging 'circuit', I turn right to run anti-clockwise but thereafter the jog is done in a left wheel.

I also like Lawmill's idea as the stronger leg is on the outside controlling the direction.

Maybe that's right but do I then, by natural inclination, jog clockwise in Sydney (logically, I'd tend to think I would) ?

Also, does this mean that lefties are at a disadvantage whilst at school (when you can take part in sports without any serious athletic training) ?
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2000, 06:36 AM
Coldfire Coldfire is offline
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Well, MY left leg is stronger, and I jog parks anti-clockwise as well, in the rare ocasion that I actually DO jog

Why would it be different in Sydney, L_C? Does the earth's spin mess with your balance that much? Because I don't tend to notice it, myself. Well, not whilst sober, anyway.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2000, 07:24 AM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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Coldie, Ahh! But I wonder if that's because you perceive that (consciously or not) as being the conventional or correct way to jog because you see others doing it - I worry that this is a circular argument, but lets not decide which direction.

Got to tell you, a lot of people think I'm a little like the confused neighbour in Seinfeld.

Why Sydney: It's based on the conclusive experience ( ) of having just traced my finger around the rim of a saucer, then moving the finger to the other side and, while still moving the finger in the same direction, turning the saucer underside up, I find I'm moving my finger clockwise. Also, isn't this related to the water disappearing down the plug hole thing (anti-clockwise here, clockwise down under) - the gravity malarkey ?. Actually, I don't know……..but I'd like to



All this reminds me of one of my favourite quotations (from a WW2 code breaker at Bletchley Park):

"Which way round does a clock go ?"
"Clockwise"
"Not if you're the clock"


I eat salad.
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2000, 07:28 AM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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OK to clarify (who am I kidding), the initial tracing of the finger was anti-clockwise.
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  #13  
Old 10-10-2000, 07:36 AM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is offline
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Quote:
Here's my theory: since we write in the left-to-right direction, we think of that direction as forward. When you come up to a path or track and have no reason to pick one direction over the other, you are more likely to turn right.
Ah. But don't some cultures write the other way? I think Hebrew, Arabic, and Japanese are written right-to-left (and in the case of Japanese, right-to-left and vertically).
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2000, 08:51 AM
Fiver Fiver is offline
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Floater:
Quote:
However, it does not explain why I move in an anti-clockwise direction even when I'm not actually running, ie when I mark trails for the Hash House Harriers
On-On, Floater! Always nice to meet a Brother Hasher.

But I'm confused. Why would a hash trail, which typically goes from point A to point B, be characterizable as "clockwise" or "anticlockwise?" Do you mean you lay circle jerks anticlockwise?
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  #15  
Old 10-10-2000, 08:53 AM
scr4 scr4 is offline
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Quote:
Quote:
Here's my theory: since we write in the left-to-right direction, we think of that direction as forward.
But don't some cultures write the other way?
Yes, and it would be interesting to observe joggers in those cultures. Any volunteers in Hebrew or Arabic speaking countries? I'm in Japan but I don't think that would work - left-to-right writing is very common in Japan nowadays.

Still, try writing two arrows on a piece of paper, one pointing to the right and one to the left. I think you'll find that the rightward arrow looks more natural, more pleasent to look at. Also, a portrait or a photo of a vehicle looks very different depending on which way the subject is facing.
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2000, 08:57 AM
labradorian labradorian is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by London_Calling

(1)Am I correct in thinking most people have a natural inclination to jog anti-clockwise (to the right ?)
If you are continually turning to your right, aren't you going clockwise?
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:03 AM
TheThill TheThill is offline
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I don't seem to have too strong a preference in jogging clockwise or not, although I might actually tend to go anti-clockwise. Actually where I have been jogging most often in the past year, it has depended on the terrain, sun, etc.
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:18 AM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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labradorian

Quote:
Originally posted by London_Calling
Well to my mind, yes and no. When I approach the jogging 'circuit', I turn right to run anti-clockwise but thereafter the jog is done in a left wheel.
[/QUOTE]

The Thrill - Sun, you have sun ! ? Sounds a little as if you don't have a regualr time or circuit ? I guess it needs a regular pattern to see a trend.
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:21 AM
TheThill TheThill is offline
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To answer the other question, I just got back from Jerusalem and I didn't notice any difference in directional preferences, although most joggers just run through the insane traffic any way they can. In fact, I didn't find anywhere nice and safe to run, if anything there is safe anymore...
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  #20  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:24 AM
TheThill TheThill is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by London_Calling
labradorian

Quote:
Originally posted by London_Calling
Well to my mind, yes and no. When I approach the jogging 'circuit', I turn right to run anti-clockwise but thereafter the jog is done in a left wheel.


The Thrill - Sun, you have sun ! ? Sounds a little as if you don't have a regualr time or circuit ? I guess it needs a regular pattern to see a trend.
[/QUOTE]

Well, I don't exactly have a regular country to live in at the moment, but German summers usually provide enough sun so that I have to decide whether I want to face the sun or not. At the moment, there is miraculously sun here, too (I take it I'm not very far from you, if you're calling from London.)
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  #21  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:31 AM
London_Calling London_Calling is offline
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Yes, I am and it is a beautiful afternoon - having said that, the sun's just this minute disappeared. Fancy that !

If memory serves, Jerusalem is one of the least jogger friendy towns I've ever visited. Fairly heroic to even consider the idea - in any direction.
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  #22  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:43 AM
Munch Munch is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by scr4
Here's my theory: since we write in the left-to-right direction, we think of that direction as forward. When you come up to a path or track and have no reason to pick one direction over the other, you are more likely to turn right.

Or maybe it's the Coriolis force.
Um, that would mean that we run in a clockwise fashion. But we don't. We turn left. Counterclockwise.
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  #23  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:56 AM
Floater Floater is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Five

Why would a hash trail, which typically goes from point A to point B, be characterizable as "clockwise" or "anticlockwise?" Do you mean you lay circle jerks anticlockwise?
Your trails might typically be A to B, Ours aren't. We usually run from someone's home or from a bar and return to the same place.

Remember Rule No 1: There are no rules!
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  #24  
Old 10-10-2000, 09:56 AM
TheThill TheThill is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by London_Calling
Yes, I am and it is a beautiful afternoon - having said that, the sun's just this minute disappeared. Fancy that !

If memory serves, Jerusalem is one of the least jogger friendy towns I've ever visited. Fairly heroic to even consider the idea - in any direction.
Still sunny here (Chelmsford). And yes, Jerusalem was quite a challenge. I went a few times, seeking out less harrowing routes, but with no great success. I saw a few judgement-impaired running through heavy traffic though, didn't choose to join them, however.
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  #25  
Old 10-10-2000, 10:19 AM
sailor sailor is offline
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I would say conventionally when you say something is moving clockwise you would say it is moving to the right. This is just a convention that you look at a clock from the "top" (outside) and you look at the hands when they are at 12 o'clock.

If I want to describe a rink or dancefloor, I would use the same convention. I owuld imagine I am hovering above (not looking from the center of the Earth). I think it is safe to say clockwise = to the right in most people's minds.
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  #26  
Old 10-10-2000, 01:10 PM
brad_d brad_d is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Connor
Quote:
Originally posted by scr4
When you come up to a path or track and have no reason to pick one direction over the other, you are more likely to turn right.
Um, that would mean that we run in a clockwise fashion. But we don't. We turn left. Counterclockwise.
Running (jogging?) to scr4's defense, and risking putting words in his mouth, I'll say that I think he's making sense.

When you walk up to a jogging loop from the outside, you must turn to the right in order to begin travelling counterclockwise. I think that's the right turn to which he's referring.
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  #27  
Old 10-10-2000, 01:23 PM
Fiver Fiver is offline
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Floater:
Quote:
Your trails might typically be A to B, Ours aren't. We usually run from someone's home or from a bar and return to the same place.
Oh, now Floater, that just won't do. Half the excitement of hashing comes from not knowing where you'll end up! You should convince your local group to give A to B a try sometime.
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