I don’t consider myself to be a clumsy person, but the number of times I have needed to repair my phone because of drops may tell another story, according to Asurion and tech repair retailer uBreakiFix by Asurion. The tech company and its subsidiary wanted to find out which cities were the clumsiest. They combed customer data of phone repairs and breakage claims, analyzed online searches that indicated questions for how to deal with trips, slips, and falls, and figured out what cities had the most personal injury lawyers and orthopedic surgeons per capita.
I’ve never tripped and sprained an ankle or walked into a glass door, but I keep a bag of rice on hand in the event I need to dry out my phone. I also always have a phone case and screen protector on my phone because even with those I have managed to break and crack my phone. But my oopsies didn’t seem to play a factor in my city—or even my state—cracking the top 50 clumsiest cities in the U.S.
Take a look and see if your city is one of the more graceful places to live, or one of the most accident-prone.
Asurion unveiled that seven of the top 10 clumsiest cities were in the south. The top three clumsy cities were New Orleans, LA, Raleigh, NC and Jacksonville, FL, respectively. The least clumsy or most “graceful” residents live in cities mostly located in the northern part of the United States or along the west coast. San Francisco was rated the most graceful city. This makes sense to me since it’s also the queer capital of the U.S. and if anyone carries themselves with grace it’s a queen. This is anecdotal proof, but I stand by it. The next two least-clumsy cities were Chicago, IL and New York, NY.
Asurion predicted reasons why some people are clumsier than others based on the damage done to their cell phones. The south isn’t just hotter than other parts of the country, it’s also more humid. This leads to more sweat and slippery hands that drop phones. The average daily humidity of the top 10 clumsiest cities was 71.5 percent and higher than the 66.8 percent average of the other analyzed cities. Also, many of the cities marked as clumsy were also spring break destinations. Drunk college students know how to party, but they also know how to mess up their phones … among other things.
On the flip side, reasons for grace could be because of maturity and age. Almost half of the least clumsy cities have large populations of people age 65 and older. There is also speculation that the people in more graceful cities are more careful with their phone because they live in more sophisticated and cultured areas. I know some pretty “cultured” people who are a hot mess, though I’ve also seen people easily navigate the streets of NYC who were eating a bagel while riding a bike and checking their email, so maybe there is something to cultural hubs.
Cell phone damage aside, some people are just clumsy. But why? How can some people sail through their day without new bruises or stains on their shirts and others can’t?
According to a study done by the University of Delaware, some people are born clumsy. Scientists tested 1,500 athletes from multiple universities to examine their neurological and cognitive capabilities. They measured their observation skills and reaction speed. This data was then used to compare injured athletes who participated in the study vs. non-injured athletes. The athletes who had injuries had “significantly lower reaction times and processing speeds to those who were not injured, as well as lower visual and verbal memory scores.”
Charles Swanik, lead author of the study, says clumsiness is a moment of distraction. With focus and training we can become less clumsy. Swanik also says vision screenings and physical exercises that strengthen stability and balance help. This is good news for people who seem to get in their own way more often than not.
If you experience sudden or unexpected clumsiness, though, that could be a sign of a significant medical issue that should be addressed. Quick onset issues with coordination may be because of a stroke, seizure, or intense stress. Adults also experience clumsiness as a symptom of aging, a brain tumor, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Not all bouts of poor coordination are a reason to be concerned—you may just need more sleep!—but movements out of the ordinary should be taken seriously and talked about with a medical professional.
Kids can experience clumsiness when they are going through growth spurts. In more serious cases, dyspraxia (developmental coordination disorder) can impact a child’s coordination, but can be improved by practicing certain movements and using tools that give kids a better grip on items like markers and pencils.
Some days are smooth like butter. Others are falling over a box and scraping the skin off of your left shin. I’ve had both this week and zero shame during my moments of physical struggles. But I will always take advantage of phone protection plans, and will be sure to stay focused on where my feet are landing, because it turns out I’m more clumsy than I care to admit.
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