Young women are more likely to engage in behaviors or wear certain types of shoes or footwear that place them at greater risk of falling downstairs compared to young men, according to a new study.
These activities include multitasking, having conversations while descending the stairs, holding something in their hands and wearing sandals, flip-flops or high heels.The results were published in an observational study of college students on July 26, 2023, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
“My advice to everyone of all ages: Wear appropriate shoes, use the handrail, look at the stairs, don’t use an electronic device (put your phone in your pocket) and keep your hands free (for example, use a backpack instead of a purse or a bag),” Shirley Rietdyk, senior author and professor of heath and kinesiology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, told Fox News Digital in an email.
After analyzing 2,400 young adults, either on the short staircase (52% of whom were women) or the long staircase (29% of whom were women), the researchers discovered eight risky behaviors that the young people practiced:
not using a handrail
not watching the stairs while descending
wearing sandals, flip-flops or high heels
having a conversation with another person or on a smartphone
using an electronic device
keeping hands in pockets
Four men lost their balance on the long staircase, while one woman did so on the short staircase, but all recovered.