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Chicago Daily Herald
Multi-tasking may help you get ahead at work, but not at the gym. In fact, new research suggests talking on the phone or even texting while exercising can lead to issues and injuries.
A study published in the Journal of Performance Enhancement and Health from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania found that talking or texting on a cell phone can affect your stability and lead to falls and injuries.
Dr. Steven Chudik, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., says multi-tasking is not always productive and can result in bodily harm.
"The study reveals that texting and talking can distract us to the extent that it affects even our postural stability," he says. "This can place people at risk for injury from stumbling, losing their balance and falling in situations that might not otherwise create a problem."
The research concluded that texting during exercise negatively impacted balance by 45 percent, while talking on the phone decreased it by 19 percent.
Dr. Chudik says people who answer their phone while walking on a treadmill or even on a sandy beach are more likely to stumble, fall and twist an ankle or knee.
"Clearly, the takeaway message is that people should be careful to avoid talking or texting on their cell phones while performing other tasks, especially walking, exercising and driving," says Dr. Chudik.
On a positive note, the study also researched whether listening to music on a cell phone during exercise impacts stability. It does not, so feel free to use your cell phone for music and leave the communication devices alone until you're off the treadmill.
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