Injuries from Using Smartphones

The number of tablet computers and smartphones users is increasing and the injuries they get from using those high-tech devices worry most health experts. Health experts said that “text neck” and “text thumb” are only the two common injuries cause by spending too much time staring at small screens and tapping tiny keys on phones. The injuries are getting more common as more and more people are using their smartphones longer.

The YouGov poll shows that 44 per cent of British population uses their mobile phones for different activities aside from making calls from 30 minutes to 2 hours per day.

Tim Hutchful of British Chiropractic Association said that he had a patient who was experiencing too much pain in her thumb because of inflamed tendons which she got from using her smartphone. The patient was not able to use her hands fully for two weeks due to pain.

According to Sammy Margo of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, human bodies are not designed for looking at small screens and tapping keys that are way too small.

Experts pointed long hours spent leaning over small screens as one of the causes of hand injuries. Hutchful explained that the weight of an average human head is from 4.5 to 5.5 kilograms but unusual posture wherein the head is always held forward to see the screen makes the head 4 times heavier than the ideal posture. This unusual posture can increase strain across the whole body.

Although Hutchful is not against the use of smartphones, he advised to keep smartphone use less than 40 minutes to avoid injury. Additionally, health experts suggest not to ignore the early warning signs even if “text neck” and “text thumb” injuries can be cured. (c) 2011

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