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Influence of mobile phone texting on gait parameters during ramp ascent and descent

H Kim, J Park, J Cha, CH Song (2014)

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the influences on gait features during mobile phone use while ramp walking. Design: Cross-sectional study.Methods: Thirty-three healthy adult subjects performed four walking conditions on an outside ramp with a 5 m length, 1.5 m width, and a 5o angle. All participants were touch screen mobile phone users. Four walking conditions were used: 1) ramp ascent, 2) ramp descent, 3) texting during ramp ascent, and 4) texting during ramp descent. In conditions 3) and 4), subjects texted the words of “Aegukga”−the song of patriotism−while walking. Upon the signal of start, the subjects walked the ramp during texting. Gait parameters were measured at the length of 3 m excluding 1 m of the start and end of the total length. Each situation was repeated three times for each subject, and mean values were calculated. For gait examination, a gait analyzer was used (OptoGait).Results: Subjects ranged in age from 23 to 38 years (mean age, 27.73). Eighty-three percent of subjects in our study had experi-enced an accident during mobile phone use. Texting on a mobile phone while walking significantly decreased ramp gait, speed, ca-dence, stride length, step length, and single support (p<0.05) and significantly increased stride time, step time, gait cycle, and dou-ble support (p<0.05). There was a significant difference in cadence, step length, stride time, step time, and single support during ramp ascent and descent (p<0.05).Conclusions: Texting on a mobile phone while walking significantly decreased gait quality.

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