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Texting While Walking Makes People Move Slower

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A new research study has come to the shocking conclusion that walking while texting takes longer than walking alone. Startlingly, in addition, walking and texting on a crowded street might cause the user to bump into someone.

There are many crucial issues that require further research and discussion. This one was apparently so important that it took the resources of two universities, one of which is across the pond, to answer a question that no one was asking: Do people walk slower when texting at the same time?

No one needed the answer because we all know already from experience and observation that the answer is an unequivocal yes. Even a person who has never actually attempted to walk and text and has never even seen another human being doing so would reach the same conclusion simply by having the activities described to them.

Nonetheless, Texas A&M and the University of Bath combined their precious resources to devise a test to answer the burning question at hand. They enlisted 30 women ages 18 to 50 and compared their pace and movement when walking and texting with just walking. For some reason, they included a third activity, which involved texting, walking and solving math problems all at the same time. Men, apparently, were not deemed fit to participate.

The study created an obstacle course, which simulated an "urban environment," including a whole two traffic cones and two different sized mannequins. The walker's movements were then analyzed using a 3D motion detection system for which the University's benefactors surely paid a pretty penny. Astoundingly, it took the users longer to complete the course while texting.

Dr. Conrad Earnest of Texas A&M then proclaimed the study's other amazing conclusion: "While text growth facilitates communication it also increases the risk of distraction during walking, which may in turn carry with it an increased risk for tripping, collision or secondary injuries to other pedestrians attempting to avoid those who are texting and deviating from a normal path of ambulation."

The study reminds us of other similarly pointless scientific research in past years that has taught us important lessons like obesity is unhealthy, skiing makes skiers happy, and that students sometimes get bored in class.

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