You might be one of those people that feel naked without their phone on them. Even if you’re hitting the gym or going out on your run, you can’t stand the idea of not having your phone handy. If this is you, we’ve got some bad news. Recent research, says that you might be better off leaving your device at home. Here’s how your phone may be messing with your workout.
1. It Makes You Lose Balance
Whether you’re on the treadmill or just jogging around the block, texting can cause major problems with your bodily balance as well as your posture. It can make you wobbly and unstable which can be dangerous. Studies show that being on a call is not as risky but can still have an impact on your posture and balance.1
2. It Could Make Your Workout Less Effective
Research shows that using your phone while working out increases the proportion of time you spend exercising at low intensity rather than high intensity. Those who don’t use their phones end up increasing the amount of time spent doing high-intensity exercise. Using your phone makes you less likely to participate in vigorous exercise. This means that your workout won’t be as effective and you won’t reap the benefits of your efforts. So, maybe, scrolling through your Instagram feed could wait till after your regime.2
3. It Could Ruin Your Form
Using equipment incorrectly and not having the right form could mean that your workout isn’t as effective and could lead to injuries. This is especially when using equipment like a leg press. Texting or scrolling through your news feed can distract you from focusing on your form and set you up for a painful injury.
4. It Could Cause Injuries
Using your phone while exercising has the same effect as if you use it while driving. Our brains are not designed to give equal attention to dual tasks. This doesn’t allow us to focus completely on our workout while using our phones. By throwing us off balance, it could increase the risk of falling or sustaining musculoskeletal injuries.3
So What Can You Do About It?
If you absolutely can’t leave your phone at home, here are some ways to stop you from being distracted during your regime:
- Put your phone on airplane mode and keep it there until the end of your workout.
- There are apps that can block other specific apps on your phone for an amount of time that you set yourself. Set the timer at the beginning of your workout and keep it running until you finish.
- Try to find workout clothes that have pouches or spaces for you to safely stow away your phone. This stops the need for you to hold it in your hand, lessening the temptation to unlock it
- Listening to music has no adverse effect on your workout, but taking your phone out to change the song might distract you. Make a playlist in advance so that you don’t have to fiddle with it in the middle of your exercise.
Now that you know the dangers your cell phone poses, try to minimize its usage in the gym and any other activity that might need your full undivided attention.
|↑1||Rebold, Michael J., Cody A. Croall, Emily A. Cumberledge, Timothy P. Sheehan, and Matthew T. Dirlam. “The impact of different cell phone functions and their effects on postural stability.” Performance Enhancement & Health (2016).|
|↑2||Rebold, Michael J., Timothy Sheehan, Matthew Dirlam, Taylor Maldonado, and Deanna O’Donnell. “The impact of cell phone texting on the amount of time spent exercising at different intensities.” Computers in Human Behavior 55 (2016): 167-171.|
|↑3||Rebold, Michael J., Cody A. Croall, Emily A. Cumberledge, Timothy P. Sheehan, and Matthew T. Dirlam. “The impact of different cell phone functions and their effects on postural stability.” Performance Enhancement & Health (2016)|