Walking and texting ruins your posture

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Look at his foot! Seems like it’s screwed on wrong.

According to a new study published in the journal PLOS One, texting while walking really messes up a person’s posture.

For their study, researchers gathered a group of 26 healthy individuals and put them in three different experimental trials: walking without a phone at a comfortable pace, walking while reading a passage on the mobile device, and walking while texting. Researchers measured the volunteers’ gaits (the way they walk) from all 3 dimensions with cameras often used in special effects movies.

According to the results of the study, texting really interferes with a person’s gait and posture. For example, the scientists found that while typing away on their phone, participants were more likely to stiffen arms, moving like robots at a slower pace.

Since reading a text requires a person to move their head slightly, volunteers received less input about their balance and were more likely to walk off course. “These altered gait parameters may have an impact on the safety of pedestrians who type or read text on a mobile phone while walking,” wrote the researchers in their study.

Interestingly enough, 9 out of the 26 volunteers reported they had been involved in a texting related accident, including tripping, falling, and colliding with objects or individuals.

Featured image courtesy of Jorge Quinteros on Flickr. Image of posture diagram courtesy of PLOS One.