Google Maps Pulls Calorie-Counting Feature After Criticism

Excerpt from this article:

The iPhone app told her that walking instead of driving would burn 70 calories. While it was perhaps meant as an incentive to walk, those with eating disorders might instead fixate on the number, a dangerous mind-set that counselors try to minimize, she said… Some users were especially upset that the app used mini cupcakes to put the burned calories into perspective, framing food as a reward for exercise, or exercise as a prerequisite for food.

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Message to Self: In 2015, Stop Texting While Walking

Excerpt from this article, and happy new year!

As a society, we now spend almost half of our waking hours looking at screens… according to a 2013 research report compiled by Liberty Mutual Insurance, 70 percent of people in the United States admit to texting and walking.

“So much attention has been paid, and rightly so, to distracted driving that we have ignored the fact that distracted walking and crossing can be just as risky,” David Melton, a driving safety expert with Liberty Mutual, wrote in the report.

…If you’re one of the people who admit to texting and walking but pride yourself on being an expert at this task, there is lot of research that shows you’re actually not.

A study published earlier this year in the medical journal PLOS One found that walking and using your smartphone at the same time affects people’s posture and balance, causing them to swerve and walk slower. (In other words, you look like a person who’s had six too many drinks.) As a result, researchers found, texting and walking can cause accidents, “including falls, trips and collisions with obstacles or other individuals.”