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Beware, texting could harm you

January 28th, 2014 2 min read

You have been warned against relying on texting to communicate because there is the risk  it could negatively impact your relationships.

Australian researchers have found that texting could also harm your health.

In a recent study to measure how typing or reading a text on a cell phone impacts on gait performance and body motion, researchers from the University of Queensland found that texting or reading  may not only alter your posture but  could also be detrimental to your health.

In the study, 26 volunteers were monitored while walking three times for 28 feet. Once without phones, once while texting and once while reading a SMS.

The movements were tracked using a three-dimensional tracking system. The computers tracking them revealed that when they were texting, and to a lesser extent reading, their posture was altered and it changed the way they walked.

The evidence also showed that the subjects were not able to walk in a straight line and they swerved even when they thought that they were  doing so. While at it, they were less conscious of their surroundings, making it dangerous for them.

Also, texting caused one’s posture to be rigid. The subjects had their arms, trunk and head all fixed together like a robot making them more susceptible to tripping and also reducing their ability to react if they tripped.

Typing or reading a sms forces your body into a hunched position. According to Dr Siobhan Schabrun, study leader and honorary fellow at the university, holding your head in that posture can add up to an extra 30 pounds on the upper vertebrae which can pull your spine out of alignment.

Given the two simultaneous activities, the brain prioritises the cognitive task which is texting over balance meaning that texting while walking reduced your safety.

Findings of this study which have been published in the journal PLOS One, shows that texting while waking is a health hazard. Their recommendation is that while you walk put your phone away.