Young Adults Are Really Bad at Walking

Have a nice trip? See ya next fall.

That’s how the old children’s joke goes and now, one study shows that we may actually be bad at walking.

According to a study by Purdue University, each of the college students that participated lost their balance at least once a week and 52 percent of them actually fell at least once during the four-month research period.

The study only looked at college students for the research.

Now you might think that alcohol plays a big part in the falls of college students, but it only accounted for about 9 percent of the falls.

The most common cause? Talking and walking.

“We have all heard the expression, ‘He can’t chew gum and walk at the same time,’” said Shirley Rietdyk, professor of Health and Kinesiology. “Similarly, we expect that talking while walking would be automatic. However, this multi-task is cognitively demanding, requiring the simultaneously management of language formulation, speech generation, terrain navigation, and balance control.”

Surprisingly, just 3 percent of the falls reported were caused by texting and walking.

So are older adults better at walking? It looks that way. Rietdyk said a common stat is that about 1/3 of older adults fall each year. “The fall rate may be lower for older adults because they are more cautious due to the higher risk of serious, even fatal, injuries from falls.”

You can find out more about the study results here.


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