Science confirms walking while texting makes people dangerous and annoying


The busier the street, the more infuriating it is to walk along. Elbows clash, briefcases collide, and your progress becomes more crab-like as you try to navigate past slower moving pedestrians. Then, right when you reach a relatively open piece of pavement, you see the reason for the hold up: Someone who thinks they can text and walk normally at the same time.

It’s tempting to slap the phone out of their hands just so they get a move on, but sometimes these lost, confused souls who think they’re “multi-tasking,” just need some guidance. Point them towards a shop window or park bench and say, “Hey, it’s OK, take a minute to write your message.”  Shouting, “Because you’re right in the damn way!” may not be appropriate, but will be satisfying. Use your own judgement on this one. Anyway, they may not know it at the time, but you could be saving their lives.

While it’s clear some think nothing changes when they’re walking and texting, science has now proven otherwise. A research paper entitled, “Texting and Walking: Strategies for Postural Control and Implications for Safety,” has been published confirming what most of us knew: Doing these two things at once not only slows you down, but it also makes you a danger to yourself.

Text n’walkers will inevitably trip over a curb, bag, or small dog, fall into the road and be run over until dead

Written by a team from the School of Health and Rehabilitation at the University of Queensland in Australia, the paper is extraordinarily in-depth, and primarily investigates the effect the unnatural posture of typing and walking has on our bodies. Skipping past a lot of the science-y stuff, some of the more choice quotes include “typing text was associated with slower walking speed and greater deviation from a straight line,” while tapping out an email also “showed reduced walking speed and stride width.”

So, the way we see it, it’s now scientifically proven those who text ‘n walk are in the way. The paper goes on to look at way we hold our bodies, and how the angle of our limbs and head changes when using a phone while walking. It states these alterations, along with a reduced field of view “undermine functional walking and impact on safety in common pedestrian environments,” and that there’s a “greater risk of collisions, trips, and traffic accidents.”

There you have it then, science says people who type away on their phones while walking along the street are not only a menace, but will inevitably trip over a curb, bag, or small dog, fall into the road and be run over until dead. If that doesn’t make them stop, nothing will.

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