Sci­en­tists dis­cover that tex­ting while walk­ing makes you step funny

TechLife Australia - - HOTSPOT -

WELL NO $#!@, SHER­LOCK.

It’s taken a full-blown sci­en­tific study to prove that tex­ting and walk­ing aren’t a match made in street heaven. New re­search has looked into the re­la­tion­ship be­tween mo­bile phone use and vis­ual be­hav­iour to dis­cover that “users adopt a cau­tious and ex­ag­ger­ated step­ping strat­egy, which in­volves lift­ing their lead foot higher and slower over the ob­sta­cle to re­duce the risk of trip­ping”. The study found typ­ing while walk­ing re­sults in big­ger adap­ta­tions in gait — 18% higher lift of foot and 40% slower than when walk­ing nor­mally — as op­posed to when read­ing and walk­ing. “We found that us­ing a phone means we look less fre­quently, and for less time, at the ground, but we adapt our vis­ual search be­hav­iour and our style of walk­ing so we’re able to ne­go­ti­ate static ob­sta­cles in a safe man­ner,” said lead au­thor Dr Matthew Tim­mis.

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