Feeds

Walking while texting can – OUCH! – end badly, say boffins

Prodding your mobe slows you down and limits your vision

High performance access to file storage

Scientists have proved what anyone walking down a crowded street in modern city knows: those who gaze at their phones while ambulating are a danger to themselves and others.

Detailed here at PLOS ONE in research titled “Texting and Walking: Strategies for Postural Control and Implications for Safety”, the authors explain that they subjected 26 test subjects to experiments in which they measured normal walking, walking while reading a phone and walking while sending a text message. Subjects were screened to ensure they were familiar with modern phones with QWERTY keyboards.

Eight cameras were used to record subjects' movement on an ~8.5m course and they captured all sorts of data: the paper says “Relative motion between the thorax and head (neck motion), and between pelvis and thorax (trunk motion) were obtained by subtracting the time series of the relevant angles of the lower segment from the higher segment.”

Those measurements lead to a very detailed discussion of kinematics and other exercise-related stuff that make the innards of a CPU seem comfortingly simple. Long story short, walking while looking at or using a phone changes your gait and reduces your ability to walk in straight line, partly because your head actually moves a bit more than is usually the case.

“In a pedestrian environment inability to maintain a straight path would be likely to increase potential for collisions, trips and traffic accidents,” the paper suggests, backing up the observation that “Nine of 26 (35%) participants reported a previous accident while texting on their mobile phone, including falls, trips and collisions with obstacles or other individuals”.

So there you have it: that person you had to avoid on the way home yesterday lest their insistence on doing something with their phone led to a shirt-fronting is a dangerous symptom of the modern world. Something clearly Must Be Done. Unless they were reading The Reg, in which case all is forgiven. ®

Texting and Walking: Strategies for Postural Control and Implications for Safety

TXTing while walking sends you on a dangerous course

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
Get your MOON GEAR: Auction to feature Space Race memorabilia
Keepsakes from early NASA, Soviet programs up for bids
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.