For the first time in history, the National Safety Council (NSC) has included tracking injury statistics that includes accidental deaths for “distracted walking while using a cellphone.” According to Injury Facts® that was published in 2015, distracted walking injuries that involved the use of a cellphone have risen sharply, with nearly 80% of these injuries occurring from falls. The majority of injuries occurred with woman, 54% were younger than 40 years old and 21% were over 71 years of age.
Did you know that more than 11,100 injuries were reported between 2000 and 2011 due to cell phone distractions? These include sprains, strains, fractures, bruises, and cuts or lacerations and these injury numbers continue to rise. Even deaths have been reported as a result of being distracted when walking using our phone to text, talk on the phone, surf the internet, or listen to music.
How many of you have bumped into a wall, tripped off of a curb, have stepped into oncoming traffic, almost run into someone on a bike, or have fallen and gotten hurt while walking and using your mobile device? If you answered yes to any of these questions you aren’t alone. Over 90% of people own a smartphone, spend almost 4.7 hours per day on their phone according to a report by Digital Trends in 2015. Another study found that you are 61% more likely to walk off course and 13% more likely to miss your destination when using your phone while walking.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), 74% of Americans say other people are “usually or almost always” distracted while walking with their smartphones.
#DigitalDeadwalkers states that common distractions for walkers include;
- Talking on the phone – 90%
- Having conversation with others or listening to music – 88%
- Using a smartphone such as texting, surfing the internet, etc. – 85%
- Zoning out or spacing off – 64%
An interesting fact, from the AAOS, is that almost 80% of American’s think that distracted walking is a serious issue, but only 29% say that they are typically distracted by their phones when walking.
I think we must look within our self and choose to be a role model when you walk. You should hold your head UP high, have your device or smartphone down, and walk engaged and alert to your surroundings and environment around you.
Not only will this bring focused attention on your environment and surroundings, allowing you to avoid hazards such as curbs, poles, vehicle doors opening, or oncoming traffic, but it will also greatly reduce your risks of falling and getting seriously injured. So you can return home to enjoy your greatest gifts in life, your loved ones.
Being unplugged while walking will allow you to focus on the beauty all around us this summer and by keeping your head UP and not being distracted by your phone will allow you to deepen and maybe reignite your relationships too!
Your stress level will be reduced, as the muscle tension to your upper back, neck, or shoulders (where we all hold our stress) will be reduced or relieved. Forward head posture, the number one risk factor for headaches, will be greatly reduced too!
Your focus will be sharper with daily tasks and your energy level to get things done will improve as your daily posture habits improve by walking with your head UP.
Let’s choose today to join the “Moment of Silence Campaign” and WALK with your HEAD UP and devices down, as you cross the street in honor of the thousands of teens who are hit by cars each year. Also do this for your family and those that are counting on you to be the best you and role model by walking with your head UP, keeping your phone or devices down, and staying engaged with your environment and surroundings.