Texting while driving is clearly a bad idea, but it may be dangerously distracting while walking, too, a new study suggests.
Researchers asked 30 people to navigate an obstacle course three times and found they were significantly slower while texting and walking than when completing the route without any distractions.
When the researchers had people walk, text and do math quizzes on an iPhone all at the same time, it also slowed them down by about the same amount.
The lower speed was expected, said senior study author Conrad Earnest, an exercise researcher at Texas A&M University in College Station. What was surprising, however, is that staring at the tiny screen didn’t make people any more likely to crash into things.