Cell Phone Use Bad for Postural Stability

You can listen to music, but most other cell phone activities have physical repercussions.

Dr. Michael Rebold assistant professor of integrative exercise science at Hiram College, says, turn off your cell phone. In a recent study, Rebold and researchers from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania revealed that talking or texting on a cell phone during exercise will lower the intensity of a workout and also affect balance.

The latest of these studies, The impact of different cell phone functions and their effects on postural stability shows that cell phone texting and talking can have a negative effect on one’s balance during everyday activities. This is the first known study to examine the effects of cell phone use on postural stability.

“If you’re talking or texting on your cell phone while you’re putting in your daily steps, your attention is divided by the two tasks and that can disrupt your postural stability, and therefore, possibly predispose individuals to other greater inherent risks such as falls and musculoskeletal injuries,” Rebold says.

Postural stability was assessed on the Biodex Balance System SD. During the postural stability test participants completed three, 20s trials for each condition with a 10s rest interval between each trial, and a five-minute rest interval between each condition. Overall postural stability was significantly worse during the texting condition when compared to the talking, music, and control conditions.

Postural stability was significantly worse during the talking condition when compared to the music and control conditions. The music and control conditions were not significantly different.

The study showed that cell phone texting during exercise significantly impacts postural stability – by 45 percent — when compared to no cell phone use. The investigation also revealed that talking on a cell phone while exercising reduces postural stability by 19 percent.

So, listen to music. That’s okay.

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