Did you know that London has put bumpers on light posts on city streets due to people walking into them while texting on their phones? How about text lanes on staircases at Utah Valley State. While the latter was done as a bit of a joke, this is actually becoming a serious issue.
While we understand the dangers of tripping, falling down stairs or walking into things, only until recently did we look at the effect texting and walking had on our posture and gait.
According to a study out of the University of Queensland, texting and walking alters not just your posture but also your balance. In their study they found that the subjects heads were assuming a flexed or tucked chin position. Anyone that has been in my office knows that I am an absolute nut about keeping your head from that flexed position.
Another study, this time at Texas A&M, looked at how we actually walk. They took participants and gave them three tasks: 1. Walk Normal 2. Walk while texting 3. Walk while texting and being distracted by a math problem.
Want to guess which of the scenarios produced slower walking, shorter strides, and an inability to walk in a straight line? Let me help you, it wasn’t the first one.
An altered gait can have severe consequences on your legs, hips and most importantly your spine.
As texting becomes more integrated in our lives, lets be smart about how and when we are doing it. Definitely not while driving and let’s give some consideration to limiting it while we are walking around.