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July 18, 2016

Orthopaedic surgeons urge outdoor gamers: Be aware of your surroundings, walk carefully to avoid serious injury

AAOS public education campaign highlights dangers of distracted walking

Rosemont, Ill. (July 13, 2016)—The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons want outdoor gamers to focus on their surroundings—street and landscapes, cars and other pedestrians—to avoid serious injury while playing “Pokemon GO”® and other games that require movement while viewing a phone screen.
“We love that these games are bringing children and adults outdoors and encouraging exercise,” said Alan S. Hilibrand, a Philadelphia orthopaedic surgeon and AAOS spokesperson. “But we also want everyone to be mindful of their surroundings as they enjoy this activity. Walking while looking at your phone or electronic device can result in sprains, broken bones and other serious, even fatal, injuries.”

The Academy’s ”Digital Deadwalker” campaign features radio and television segments that humorously
but effectively highlight the dangers of distracted walking while urging pedestrians to “Engage!”
Nearly four out of 10 Americans have personally witnessed a distracted walking incident, and just over a quarter (26 percent) have been in an incident themselves, according to a recent AAOS study. In addition, more than three-fourths (78 percent) of U.S. adults believe that distracted walking is a “serious” issue; however, 76 percent of Americans say “other people” are usually or always walking while distracted, while only 29 percent say the same about themselves.
The AAOS offers tips to help pedestrians (and gamers) stay injury free when walking indoors and outdoors:
  • While you walk, focus on the people, as well as the objects and obstacles, in front of and around you.
  • Never cross into traffic or walk into an intersection while looking at your phone or electronic device.
  • Cross streets carefully, preferably at a traffic light, remaining cognizant of the pedestrian traffic flow and the cars and bikes in and near the road.
  • Look up, not down, especially when stepping off or onto curbs or in the middle of major intersections; and/or when walking or approaching on stairs or escalators.
  • If you need to talk to the person next to you, use your cell phone or text, stop and do so away from the pedestrian traffic flow.
  • If you must use headphones or listen to music, maintain a volume where you can still hear the sounds of traffic and your surroundings.
For more information on distracted walking, visit:

About AAOS
With more than 39,000 members, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is the world's largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. The AAOS provides educational programs for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals, champions and advances the highest quality musculoskeletal care for patients, and is the authoritative source of information on bone and joint conditions, treatments and related issues. 
Visit AAOS at: for bone and joint health news, stats, facts, images and interview requests. for inspirational patient stories, and orthopaedic surgeon tips on maintaining bone and joint health, avoiding injuries, treating musculoskeletal conditions and navigating recovery. for patient information on hundreds of orthopaedic diseases and conditions.

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