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The impact of mobile phone use on where we look and how we walk when negotiating floor based obstacles

Timmis, Matthew A and Bijl, Herre and Turner, Kieran and Basevitch, Itay and Taylor, Matthew JD and van Paridon, Kjell N (2017) 'The impact of mobile phone use on where we look and how we walk when negotiating floor based obstacles.' PLoS ONE, 12 (6). ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Pedestrians regularly engage with their mobile phone whilst walking. The current study investigated how mobile phone use affects where people look (visual search behaviour) and how they negotiate a floor based hazard placed along the walking path. Whilst wearing a mobile eye tracker and motion analysis sensors, participants walked up to and negotiated a surface height change whilst writing a text, reading a text, talking on the phone, or without a phone. Differences in gait and visual search behaviour were found when using a mobile phone compared to when not using a phone. Using a phone resulted in looking less frequently and for less time at the surface height change, which led to adaptations in gait by negotiating it in a manner consistent with adopting an increasingly cautious stepping strategy. When using a mobile phone, writing a text whilst walking resulted in the greatest adaptions in gait and visual search behaviour compared to reading a text and talking on a mobile phone. Findings indicate that mobile phone users were able to adapt their visual search behaviour and gait to incorporate mobile phone use in a safe manner when negotiating floor based obstacles.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2017 09:20
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 12:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20027

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