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."
The perils of texting while driving are well documented. But texting while walking has its own pitfalls. In January 2011 a woman fell headlong into a fountain at a Pennsylvania mall while tapping on her phone, a blunder that was captured by a security camera and was widely mocked on YouTube.
Last October an Illinois man was struck by a car while texting on his phone and walking in the middle of a highway (authorities said he also was drinking at the time).
And a nationwide study by Ohio State University last year found that the number of pedestrians treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries related to phone use while walking has more than doubled since 2005.
In the new Australian study, scientists studied the effect of phone use while walking in 26 healthy people. Each person walked in a line over a distance of about 28 feet while doing one of three tasks: walking without the use of a phone, reading text on a phone, or typing the sentence, "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
Their bodies' movements were evaluated using a three-dimensional movement analysis system. Researchers found that texting, and to a lesser extent reading, affected movements while walking. When participants were texting, they walked more slowly, deviated more from a straight line and moved their neck less than when reading on their phones.
The study was published Wednesday in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes reports on primary research from a variety of scientific disciplines.
- NDC party has now become lame – Dan Abodakpi
- Ghana will soon deploy automated traffic policing system – MTTD
- Second dose of Covid-19 vaccine can be taken 4 weeks after the deadline stated – GHS
- 8 more die of Covid-19, active cases now 1,334
- Doctor withdraws notice to leave health centre after Bawumia donated equipment and supplies
- About 700 residents in Yapei rendered homeless after rainstorm
- Vaccine and safety protocols helping to prevent spread of Covid-19 – GHS
- UEFA and Premier League hit out at European Super League plans amid reports clubs set to announce breakaway
- Ghana Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors swears in new board
- Ghana Mission in Washington, others donate $59,850 to Covid-19 fund
Ghana’s investment climate attractive – Oppong Nkrumah
36th ICAG Graduation Ceremony; female UCC alumni crowned overall best candidate
Joint stakeholder group to examine unethical media content to be setup – Oppong Nkrumah
2 men killed as Tesla without anyone in the driver’s seat crashes into tree and catches fire
Today’s front pages: Monday, April 19, 2021
GIPC to ensure $2.7bn investment yields full benefits
Black Stars Coaches Arrears: Appiah and Akonnor paid combined $213,000
Don’t panic you will get a second Covid-19 vaccines jab as soon as possible – GHS
Cargill to begin ‘Safe Water Access’ project in cocoa-growing communities
Nana Kwadwo Jantuah: Beyond the galamsey dialogue, what next?
Teen charged in killing of 45-year-old Ghanaian Lyft driver in the US
‘A tenant may be evicted for a month’s arrears’ – Rent Control
I asked Akufo-Addo to forgive me for opposing Bawumia as running mate – Ama Busia
Bawumia is Ghana’s best Vice President – Ama Busia
Enact regulatory framework to control access to internet pornography – Razak Opoku