We often text while walking but being cognitively distracted while walking may significantly affect the way a person walks and may result in a more cautious gait.
Led by Dr. Conrad Earnest of Texas A&M University and colleagues from the University of Bath, UK, the research examined the effect of texting and walking while being cognitively distracted and negotiating curbs and other common pedestrian obstacles, and found that participants took significantly longer to complete the course while texting and being cognitively distracted compared to just walking.
Further, texting while being cognitively distracted also increased obstacle clearance, step frequency and decreased ability to walk in a straight line.
The authors of the study suggested participants when faced with cognitive challenges to decrease their walking speed to avoid accidents.
The research is published in the journal PLOS ONE.