Difference Between Locomotion and Movement (With Table)

All sorts of living beings on earth have motion. Without motion, it wouldn’t be possible to do daily work. Different objects have different types of motion and every type has its laws and workflow. Locomotion and Movement are also specific forms of motion. They might seem similar but there is a clear difference between the two.

Locomotion vs Movement

The difference between locomotion and movement is that locomotion is done to change the position while movement can be done without changing the place. Movement is a style of moving. Locomotion is more like displacement. Both are necessary for running daily errands by human beings and animals. These terms also have their types.

When an object or person travels from one place to another, this process is considered to be locomotion. Locomotion is used in many fields of science, technology, and medicine. It is applied in human-made devices to imitate the movement of real-time physical quantities. It is the fundamental behaviour of living beings.

Movement can be considered as a result of moving. There is no particular need to change the place. It is simply a motion in an object which is at rest. Movement can be both by consent or not. For example, pumping of the heart is a non-voluntary movement while chewing gum is a voluntary movement.

Comparison Table Between Locomotion and Movement

Parameters of ComparisonLocomotionMovement
PositionA clear change of position that is traveling from one place to another, is known as locomotion.For movement, a change in the position is not required. It can be done while being at the same place or position.
VoluntarismLocomotion is done voluntarily. Because an object at rest wouldn’t move on its own. Movement is done both voluntarily and involuntarily.
EnergySince locomotion is a change in position, it consumes energy.In many cases, movement does not necessarily require energy. Some actions naturally occur.
LevelIt is organism level when locomotion takes place.It is the biological level when movement takes place.
FormThere are three forms of locomotion which are swimming locomotion, land locomotion, and flight locomotion.There are multiple forms of movement which are climbing, walking, dancing, running, yoga, etc.

What is Locomotion?

Locomotion defines the motion of a body with a change from its original position. It can also be described as the ability to move from one place to another. The word locomotion originated from the Latin word locō and mōtiō the word locō means place and mōtiō means move.

Let’s take a look at a simple example that can help us to clarify the concept of locomotion very easily. Suppose a dancer is dancing by moving to different positions on the stage. Thus his body is showing locomotion.

In biology, various activities are performed by multicellular organisms such as running, jumping, walking, swimming, etc. Is known as locomotion. Aquatic animals such as fishes move with the help of their fins. Single-celled organisms like ciliates and flagellates also move using their organs, cilia, and flagella respectively.

Plants do not possess locomotion as they are unable to move or change their original position. Animals use locomotion to search for food, to find a habitat, to escape from dangers, etc.

Kids learn their first locomotion skills i.e. walking when they are babies and it is one of the most important milestones of their physical development.

Concluding the above paragraph we can say that locomotion is the voluntary movement of an individual from one place to another.

What is Movement?

Movement defines the change in the state of rest to motion or vice-versa with or without any change in its original position. It is contrary to the process of locomotion. Movement can happen voluntarily or involuntarily.

The involuntary movement we can control the motion, like you stretching your arm to pick up an apple is an example of voluntary movement and we can control our joints performing the motion.

But on the other hand, in involuntary movement, we cannot control the motion like the breathing of air, pumping of blood, etc. Are involuntary movements. In biology, There are three types of movements, Amoeboid Movement, Ciliary Movement, Muscular Movement.

In different organisms the sources of movement are different. In some organisms, movement is carried out with help of external organs while in other organisms it is carried out with the help of internal organs. Movement is also observed in plants, unlike locomotion.

There are different purposes of movement like blood circulation, breathing, food and urine, capture and ingestion of food. Energy is produced due to various movements in the body. Thus the movement is a change in the state of rest or motion or it can also be defined as displacement of body parts.

Main Differences Between Locomotion and Movement

  1. The amount of energy required in locomotion is more than it is required in movement because movement produces energy itself.
  2. The virtue of locomotion is found in organisms only while movement is the part of all living beings’ lives.
  3. The Act of locomotion is entirely voluntary. On the other hand, the act of movement is involuntary.
  4. When it comes to locomotion, the object changes its position which is opposite in the case of movement. Movement does not require a change in position.
  5. Locomotion happens on earth on earth, in the water, in the air while movement does not necessarily need a particular environment to take place.


In the study of motion, locomotion and movement are two significant terms. All living beings bear both of these terms as the most important feature.

Except for plants, almost all living organisms move from one place to another so they can find shelter, food and defend themselves. Locomotion and movement are both related to the term motion. The body needs to move and travel so it can maintain balance.

Without motion, no objective can be achieved. Locomotion and movement have been a part of life since the day they came into existence. In short, it can be said that both terms are necessary to live life accordingly.


  1. https://huxleyparlour.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/press-release-pdf-EADWEARD-MUYBRIDGE.pdf
  2. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED059225
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