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If you’ve ever witnessed someone texting while walking — or maybe you’ve been the culprit yourself — you know that balance and walking in a straight line can be challenging.
Now, a new study by the University of Queensland in Australia has revealed that not only can walking while texting be annoying, it can be downright dangerous.
“Texting, and to a lesser extent reading, on your mobile phone affects your ability to walk and balance,” said Siobhan M. Schabrun, an honorary senior fellow at the University of Queensland and the lead author of the study. “This may impact the safety of people who text and walk at the same time.”
The study claims to be the first one to measure how typing away on a cellphone affects “gait performance” and kinematics, the study of body motion, according to CNN.
Twenty-six young people, all experienced with texting, were asked to walk through a room “under the gaze of eight cameras that captured precise details of their motions,” and either scrolled through a text message or were asked to type, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
The results? People walk like robots when they are engrossed in their phones, AZ Central reported.