The dangers of walking and talking
Remember the old joke about walking and chewing gum at the same time? Well, there's new evidence out today about what might be the modern equivalent: Walking and talking on a cell phone. And it's no laughing matter.
Researchers at the University of Illinois studied 36 college students as they talked on a cell phone while walking on a treadmill in a "virtual environment" meant to simulate crossing a busy street. Those who were talking on a cell phone took 25 percent longer to cross the street than those who were not on the phone, the researchers report in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention. They were also more likely to fail to cross the street in the 30 seconds alloted. Those who were not on the phone had no problem making it across in time. Those who were listening to music did just fine
In a second, unpublished study, the researchers performed the same study on 48 adults ages 60 and older, including some with a history of falling. Older adults on the phone got "run over" about 15 percent more often than those who were not chatting on their cells and those with a history of falling fared even worse. (None of the college students were run over.)
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