If you want a successful workout, don’t do this

If you want a successful workout, don’t do this

Multi-tasking may help you get ahead at work, but not at the gym.

In fact, research suggests talking on the phone or even texting while exercising can lead to issues and injuries.

A study published in the Journal of Performance Enhancement and Health from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania found that talking or texting on a cell phone can affect your stability and lead to falls and injuries.

Dr. Steven Chudik, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist with Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., says multi-tasking is not always productive and can result in bodily harm.

“The study reveals that texting and talking can distract us to the extent that it affects even our postural stability,” he says. “This can place people at risk for injury from stumbling, losing their balance and falling in situations that might not otherwise create a problem.”

The research concluded that texting during exercise negatively impacted balance by 45 percent, while talking on the phone decreased it by 19 percent.

Dr. Chudik says people who answer the phone while walking on a treadmill or even on a sandy beach are more likely to stumble, fall and twist an ankle or knee.

“Clearly, the takeaway message is that people should be careful to avoid talking or texting on their cell phones while performing other tasks, especially walking, exercising and driving,” says Dr. Chudik.

On a positive note, the study also researched whether listening to music on a cell phone during exercise impacts stability. It does not, so feel free to use your cell phone for music, and leave the communication devices alone until you’re off the treadmill.

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About the Author

Johnna Kelly
Johnna Kelly

Johnna Kelly, healthe news contributor, is a manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. She is a former newspaper reporter and spent nearly 10 years as a public relations professional working for state and county government. During her time as a communications staffer for the Illinois General Assembly, she was integral in drafting and passing legislation creating Andrea's Law, the nation's first murderer registry. In her spare time, she volunteers at a local homeless shelter, enjoys traveling, photography and watching the Chicago Bulls.