Do you remember that years old walk and talk add? Awell who knew that a jingle from an old advertisement was actually a signal to underlying health issues. If you are someone who likes to take a stroll while talking on the phone or talk to your friends while doing your evening walk then you should read each and every word of this article very carefully. If you think that you are performing a dual activity and working upin your physical fitness without wasting any time for the phone calls then this can be an eye opener for you.
Driving while talking on the phone can be dangerous and the same applies to walking as well. Here is what Dr. Tarun Sahani, Internal Medicine Doctor, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital has to say about this “When people are talking on their phone while walking on the road and they get too involved in a conversation there can be some accidents and injuries caused due to this activity of talking on the cell phone. As people tend to lose their connection with the surroundings they are in as they get too much involved in a conversation and this can cause some injuries to occur and accidents to happen. Too much electromagnetic radiation is emitted from the phone that is bad for a person’s body.”
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Let us take a step ahead and learn about the different types of problems that can occur in your body by following the practice of walking while talking.
Types of Distracted walking
Before learning about the major risk factors of walking and talking or namely distracted walking, let us take a quick look at the type of distracted walking which keeps your ears, eyes and mind engaged while talking that you lose the sense of your surroundings and end up getting injured.
- Talking on the phone while talking
- Texting or scrolling through social media while talking
- Listening to music via earphones or headphones while talking.
Health Risks Of Walking And Talking On The Phone
Listed below are some possible risk factors of walking and talking on the phone at the same time.
#1. Muscle Damage
Well you would be surprised to know that the one thing you have been doing unconsciously for so many years can actually damage your muscles. As you hold your phone onto your ear with one hand and the other one is usually swinging around while walking, this swinging can actually cause an imbalance. This arm movement tends to create an imbalance between the posterior oblique chain and the anterior oblique chain. As you continue to do so it creates an imbalance due to your posture and the weight. Your pelvis rotation gets affected due to this imbalance.
Although this imbalance can be cured by correcting the posture by following some simple exercises like hand to knee press, hand and leg raises and knee press low bridge.
#2. Body imbalance
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Where muscle damage is not the only risk that is associated with the activity of walking on the road while talking on your cell phone. Distraction caused due to this activity can cause body imbalance and lead to injuries and even accidents in some cases. As people get so involved in a conversation that they often tend to lose the sense of their surroundings. Due to this there are high chances of twisting an ankle, slipping, stumbling upon a stone and losing the body balance. This body imbalance can lead to injuries in different parts of the body and can also result in fractures and torn ligaments.
This one might come at a surprise for a lot of people. If you are one of those people who thought that instead of swinging an arm you would carry your phone in your pockets and use your headphones to talk to loved ones or listen to music then you should definitely go ahead and read this. Carrying your phone in the back pocket of your pants might feel very convenient and accessible but is surely not doing any good to your health. Keeping cell phones in the back pocket has been linked to male infertility by many researchers. The radiofrequency electromagnetic rays emitted from the mobile phone have a high level of damaging free radicals. These free radicals lowers the sperm viability and the sperm motility due to a greater oxidative stress. Due to this the percentage of living sperms gets decreased and their ability to swim and move is also reduced.
#4. Neck Pain
An issue which is not just concerned with walking while texting but has a lot to do with your posture for that matter. As you are walking on the road while texting or scrolling through your social media feed, you tend to lower your head and all the pressure comes down to your neck. As a lot of stress is exerted on the neck while performing this activity, making it a habit can cause neck pain which is often termed as the text neck. This is a posture problem that often tends to grow further and leads to complications like shoulder pain, headaches and even cervical cancer in some cases.
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Although this condition can be treated and the pain caused due to it can be reduced by following some simple neck exercises.
As said, prevention is better than any kind of cure and hence the best way to minimize the health hazards of this activity is to avoid the usage of phones while walking. Not only can it lead to an accident but can also impact your health in several ways. Although most of these conditions can be reversed by performing some posture correction exercises and some simple neck exercises to increase the mobility in certain parts of your body.
(With inputs from Dr. Tarun Sahani, Internal Medicine Doctor, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital)