Texting while walking poses safety risk and makes you ‘like a robot’, study finds

Photo credit:The Guardian

Have you ever been so focused on texting while walking that you bumped right into someone? It’s more than just annoying; it can actually be very dangerous for you and others. Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have found that texting while walking inhibits your ability to walk in a straight line and slows you down, which puts you at risk of getting injured.

“There have been a lot of media reports of people who text and they walk into fountains or walk off piers or onto train tracks,” says study author and physiotherapist Dr. Siobhan Schabrun. Texting while walking impacts how people carry themselves. Dr. Schabrun explains, “They hold their body posture really rigid. Their arms, trunk and head are all fixed together and they walk a little bit more like a robot.” Walking like this can throw off your balance and make you more likely to trip or fall. In fact, over one third of study participants had some type of accident while walking and using their phone.

As Dr. Schabrun says, “If you’re walking along and texting, the key issue is that you think you’re walking in a straight line. But you’re actually not. You can end up having an accident.”

The Guardian, 1/23/14

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