Researchers are saying that working out with music may increase risks of sustaining leg injuries. The new study, presented this week in Las Vegas, says that visual and auditory distractions may lead to injuries, specifically on the legs. Examples of distractions during exercise are listening to music and using your smartphone for texting or calling.
We all welcome distractions when we are working out. Just like runners who often listen to music to distraction them from the task at hand, people who work out at the gym also distract themselves by texting or checking newsfeeds. However, researchers from the University of Florida are recommending us to put away any electronics when exercising to avoid the risks of injuries.
“This is an important topic to study as runners commonly attend to distractions such as music, crowd noise, or other runners,” Dr. Daniel Herman, assistant professor at University of Florida and lead investigator in the study, says. The findings say that the more things we have on our minds while working out, the less careful we become. We lose focus about our form, biomechanics, obstacles in the way, or how vigorous we are exercising, the Health reports.
To test the if distractions could indeed interfere with safety, the researchers asked 14 experienced runners to run on a treadmill three separate times. The first time, they ran while watching a screen that flashed various images. The second time, they ran while listening to words spoken by different voices, and finally, they ran without background images or noise.
In two of the scenarios where have to watch or listen, they were asked to focus on certain letter-color or word-voice combinations. The results show that when the runners concentrated on the distractions, they applied force to their legs at a faster rate. They don't do this when they only had to focus on running.
The researchers note that during the listening scenario, runners increased the amount of force from the ground. This means that they came down harder with each foot fall. While distracted by images or sounds, they also tended to breathe heavier and have higher heart rates.
When it comes to phone use during a workout, recent research says that texting or talking on the phone can ruin your balance, the Time reports. “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, lead author of the study, says. The studies clearly show that when working out, it's much safer to just leave the gadgets at home.