Texting while walking may lead to hazardous changes in gait

USA Today reports that research published in PLOS ONE “found that healthy people who read or send texts while hoofing it show subtle but potentially hazardous changes to their gait.”

The ABC News “Medical Unit” blog reports that investigators “studied the movement patterns of 26 people as they walked normally and then as they walked with their eyes glued to the screen on their smart phones.”

They found that “when walkers were texting, they ambled more slowly.” Additionally, “they moved their necks less, their heads more and hunched their shoulders forward.”

AFP reports that among the participants, “one in three admitted to having had some sort of texting accident, ‘including falls, trips and collisions with obstacles or other individuals.’”

The increase “in the number of pedestrians injured while using their mobile phones to talk or text since 2006 has also raised concern, and some towns in the United States have gone so far as to ban the activity.”

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