Can’t seem to get in shape? The problem may be your phone. A new Kent State University study found that people who spent more time on their smartphones were less physically fit than their lower-use counterparts. “Because the cell phone is always on hand, it creates a constant invitation to sit and play,” explains study author Andrew Lepp, PhD.
It’s obvious you won’t get fit spending hours on the couch engrossed in Words With Friends. But there’s a sneakier way your phone can wreck your workout, says Andia Winslow, a New York City personal trainer. You might think that texting with your sister is a harmless way to pass the time on the elliptical, but “it’s hard to achieve an intense workout if you’re distracted,” Winslow explains. “And staring at your phone can cause you to crane your neck, slump your shoulders and disengage your core—all no-no’s when trying to attain maximum exercise results.”
What’s more, you might hurt yourself. Winslow has seen several smartphone-related gym accidents; one woman face-planted on a treadmill while attempting to run and text simultaneously.
For best workout results, leave your phone in your locker. Or use it for good: Download an app such as Gain Fitness (free; iTunes), which guides you through a series of exercises, to help yourself get a better body.
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