Jan 23 2014
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The Distraction of Texting Also Changes How We Walk

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Texting while walking can have a way of changing where we go...such as into a tree trunk or a fountain. However, a recent study in the journal PLOS ONE finds that texting also dramatically changes how we walk.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia analyzed 26 health people while walking normally, while reading texts on a cell phone, and while writing a text themselves. They looked at speed and gait, as well as the positions of their heads, torso and arms.

They found that, essentially, when we walk and text we walk in a way that makes texting easier. That focus has a significant impact on our movements, which limits the health benefits of the physical activity.

“We walk much slower when handling a cell phone (even moreso while texting than reading), and we're not very good at sticking to a straight line. Not surprisingly, we tend to keep our heads down, our necks immobile, and our arms locked at our sides. We don't swing our arms, which can be a crucial part of staying balanced while moving.”

Read more at Atlantic Cities.

Tags: Physical activity, Recommended Reading, Walking and biking