Study: Texting while walking affects your balance

By: Brandon Griggs, CNN
January 22, 2014 Updated: January 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm
photo -

(CNN) -- You've seen this person. Maybe you've even been this person.

We're talking about someone shuffling along a sidewalk or through a shopping mall, so entranced by the phone in their hands that they bump into people or almost get run over.

Yes, this behavior can be annoying. Now we have scientific evidence it can be dangerous. A new study has found that people who type or read on their phones while walking are less likely to look at their surroundings, keep their balance or walk in a straight line.

This may seem obvious to anyone who has been jostled by an oblivious text messager. But researchers at Australia's University of Queensland say theirs is the first study to measure how typing text on a cellphone impacts "gait performance" and kinematics, or the study of body motion.

"Texting, and to a lesser extent reading, on your mobile phone affects your ability to walk and balance," said Siobhan M. Schabrun, an honorary senior fellow at the University of Queensland and the lead author of the study. "This may impact the safety of people who text and walk at the same time."

Click here for more on this story.

Comment Policy

LoginORRegister To receive a better ad experience

Learn more
You are reading 0 of your of 0 free premium stories for this month read

Register Today To get to up to 4 more free stories each and every month

  • Get access to commenting on articles
  • Access to 4 more premium pieces of content!
  • See fewer annoying advertisements
We hope you enjoyed your 4 free premium stories
Continue reading now by logging in or registering
Register Now
Already registered? Login Now