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Texting While Walking May Have Physical Consequences

Texting while walking may seem harmless but a new study published in PLoS One has found that texting or using the phone while walking may have effects on gait and posture, The New York Times’ Well blog reports. The study asked 26 individuals to either walk without a phone, walk while reading a passage, or walk while texting while being videotaped. Researchers found that subjects who texted or read while walking showed stiff posture and smaller range of motion. “They displayed ‘tighter mechanical constraint’ in their upper bodies and midsections, according to the researchers; arms stopped swinging loosely and were bent and locked into place.” Subjects who texted were also more likely to deviate from a straight line and to walk more slowly. Researchers say “These adjustments, although relatively slight, could result in both immediate and longer-term physical consequences.”

Read it in The New York Times’ Well blog.

Read the study in PLoS One.