A new study says that texting while walking is super annoying to people around you. It also provides scientific research as to why your walk gets really awkward while answering your spouse who just asked you for reasons why you don’t want a vacation yet. So don’t do the texting walk!
As much as Genesis’s Phil Collins would argue that only thing about him is the way that he walks, it may turn out that you have even less for show. So if you can’t dance, can’t talk, you’d better not text while you walk, else you may appear extremely annoying and uninteresting.
However much cities around the world like Antwerp, Chongqing, China, as well as our nation’s capital, Washington DC, are trying to adapt to an ever changing where smartphones are becoming health hazards, it’s still not okay to text while you walk. In these three cities, the establishments have introduced separate walking lanes for texting and for non-texting.
This may seem over the line a bit, but it’s mostly a security measure as there are more and more reports around the world of people just walking in front of trains, or falling into manholes, or, even worse, falling into fountains. Ridiculous as these may appear too many, these are serious issues which pose health threats to people. Combine this with texting while driving, and you realize that the problems caused by looking at your phone are actually many and extremely dangerous.
But the current study, made by Conrad Earnest with the help of two former students from his former job at the UK’s University of Bath (he’s now moved to Texas A&M), does not necessarily look to the health hazards posed by texting, but to the effect this habit has on the way we walk.
To do this, they made an obstacle course which resembled a real life situation on the street. For it, they went on the field and measured exact details and then recreated them in the lab.
The course, made in a space 4.6 by 6 meters, was complete with broad curves, cones, gates, a crossing platform, differently shaped steps, bollards, and even two test dummies placed as if they were in a conversation.
The researchers made the test subjects, 30 people of ages between 18 and 50, walk the course three times in different directions. The first normally, the second while texting, and the third while texting and doing math. Results showed that they did not stumble, surprisingly, but they slowed down their pace, raised their knees much too high, took longer turns around the bends, and then wavered much like drunkards.
So, it’s confirmed, texting while walking is annoying. The relevance of such an experiment is still highly dubious. However, it’s a nice test.
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