There has been a growing interest in machine-based recognition of emotions from body gait and its combination with other modalities. In order to highlight the major trends and state of the art in this area, the literature dealing with machine-based human emotion perception through gait and posture is explored. Initially the effectiveness of human intellect and intuition in perceiving emotions in a range of cultures is examined. Subsequently, major studies in machine-based affect recognition are reviewed and their performance is compared. The survey concludes by critically analysing some of the issues raised in affect recognition using gait and posture, and identifying gaps in the current understanding in this area.