Walking while using a phone physically changes the way your legs move. This new gait isn’t the only way handsets are making us less mobile
You know the smartphone walk: you either do it or find people who do it really annoying. Head down, eyes glued to screen, finger scrolling down feeds, applying Instagram filters to photos of autumn leaves, filling one’s overstimulated head with the never-ending forward march of bad news. All while walking down an actual street. Without falling over. Or noticing all the people giving you dirty looks.
It turns out that walking while using our phones is also changing the way we move. Scientists at the University of Delaware asked volunteers to dial numbers on their mobiles while walking on a treadmill and found their gait became more exaggerated to reduce the chance of falling over. So not only is it silly to walk and use your phone at the same time, it also makes you do a silly walk. Here are some other ailments associated with intensive mobile phone usage. Note to online reader: sit down. Don’t forget to blink. And no slouching!