www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/10745-texting-and-walking-increases-injury-risk-study

Texting and walking increases injury risk: study

July 16, 2014

Troy, AL – People who send text messages while walking may be at an increased risk for injury, according to a recent study from the University of Florida, Gainesville, and Troy University.

Researchers used an 11-camera optical motion capture system to track 30 adult participants walking normally and walking while texting. The participants walked about 26 feet across an obstacle-free floor.

The results highlighted the distractions and potential hazards posed by texting and walking, researchers said. Participants walked with reduced velocity when they texted, combined with an increase in step width and a decrease in toe clearance, step length and cadence.

Decreased toe clearance could cause trips and falls, researchers said. Meanwhile, increased step width could prompt distracted walkers to step on unstable surfaces or collide with nearby obstacles.

The study was accepted for publication in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics on June 30.