Washington: Walking with your heads downwhile fiddling with mobile phone may change the way you walk, according to a new study.
The study found that a person’s manner of walking becomes far more exaggerated when using a cell phone.
Researchers from the University of Delaware in the US conducted the study on 22 volunteers who were asked to dial a number on their phone while walking on treadmill for two minutes.
Knee flexion, hip movement and leg swing of the participants were measured with the help of motion cameras which were picking data from 62 reflective markers on the walker’s arms, trunk, pelvis and legs.
This showed that when distracted by dialling numbers, the volunteers began to walk with strange exaggerated strides, their knees bending to peak position on each step and their ankles fully flexed, as if to give themselves as much chance as possible at stepping over tripping hazards.
The researchers said that people unconsciously adopt this posture as their body senses that they are at greater risk of falling over, ‘The Telegraph’ reported.
The large, exaggerated movements potentially help them to negotiate crowds and compensate for their diminished vision.
“Our results suggest that when dialling a phone while walking, healthy adults adopt a more cautious gait pattern, which may limit the risk of falling,” said Kelly Seymour from University of Delaware.
“Dual tasking resulted in increased stride width in our participants. This may represent compensation for a feeling of instability during dual task walking by increasing the base of support,” said Seymour. PTI
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