Multi-tasking could be to blame for young women falling down the stairs more often than men, as study suggests they are 80% more likely to be injured after taking a tumble
Women may be better at multi-tasking than men – but that attribute could be putting them at more risk of falling down the stairs.
Young women are around 80 per cent more likely to be injured after falling down stairs than young men, research suggests.
Now a study could explain why this is the case.
Researchers who filmed 2,400 adults under the age of 40 descending two staircases, found women were more likely to be in a conversation with someone, which could distract them from watching their step.
They were also more likely to be multi-tasking by holding something, such as a coffee, a bag or item of clothing, which would make it harder to grab the handrail if they stumbled.
And to make matters worse, women were more likely to be wearing impractical footwear such as high heels or sandals.
Research found women were more likely to be talking to someone when walking down stairs
The research found young children, those over 85 and adults in their 20s have the most falls
The US researchers, led by Purdue University in Indiana, said: ‘The young women we observed demonstrated more risky behaviour than the young men.
‘Future studies should also examine physiological differences that may lead to greater injury risk, such as differences in strength or reaction time.’
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found 70 per cent of women in the research were carrying something, while only 46 per cent of men did.
Meanwhile 18 per cent of women were seen speaking to someone, compared to 13 per cent of men.
Around one in eight falls among young adults happen on stairs.
Evidence from the US suggests children aged three and under, those over 85 and adults in their twenties have the most falls on stairs.
The researchers filmed two indoor staircases on a university campus – one with just two steps and one longer staircase with 17 steps.