Here's How Your Phone Could Be Ruining Your Workout

Photographed by Molly Cranna.
A phone can be extremely necessary during a workout. After all, if you rely on your iPhone for a killer Spotify playlist that keeps you motivated through a session, you probably wouldn't head to the gym without it.

However, your phone could be affecting exercise in a pretty unexpected way. According to a study published in the journal Performance Enhancement & Health, your phone might actually be curbing your balance during a workout, as well as the intensity of your workout. For the study, researchers examined 45 college students and found that texting during a workout impacted a person's balance by 45% compared to not using a phone at all. Talking on the phone actually impacted a workout less — it reduced balance by 19% — but still made enough of a difference to contribute to injuries, the researchers said.

"It could lead to you possibly falling off the treadmill, or if you’re walking outside, falling off a curb and rolling your ankle or tearing your ACL," Michael Rebold, one of the study's authors, told Time.

The findings are consistent with another study from last year, which found that people who texted during a 20-minute workout spent at least 10 of those minutes working out at a lower level of intensity, and only seven of those minutes in high intensity levels. Those who didn't text spent three minutes in low intensity and 13 minutes in high intensity.

The good news, however, is that listening to music was found to have no negative impact on your stability or the intensity of your workout. So go ahead and start up a playlist for your next trip to the gym, but maybe set your phone to "do not disturb."
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