Frequent Texting Can Lead To Injuries

    July 29, 2008

A UK based organization, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), is warning young people who are heavy text message users about text message injury.

The group found text message injuries are common among young people. In a recent survey of 177 people between the ages of 16 and 24 found that 34 percent send 20 or more text messages a day.

Sixteen percent of 16-24 year olds said they had experienced discomfort in their hands when they text and a small number have felt pain in their wrists, arms, neck, and shoulders.

Bronwyn Clifford

"Texting is a great way to communicate – especially to pass on news about exam results – but mobile phones are not ergonomically designed for excessive texting and they require repetitive movements to operate them," said Bronwyn Clifford, a CSP spokesperson.  "Too much texting can result in pain and swelling of the tendons at the base of the thumb and wrist."

The amount of text messages sent each day in the UK has increased by 30 percent since 2007, according to the Mobile Data Association. It estimates that 1.4 billion texts are sent in Britain everyday.

The CSP recommends frequent text users hold their phone up with the screen in front of their face to avoid neck strain, keep hands close to your body and take breaks from texting. It also says to regularly open your fingers and stretch them out.

"Keep messages short and use abbreviations and the predictive text function on your phone," said Clifford.

"Try to restrict text sessions to 5-10 minutes and avoid holding the phone if you are not using it or are waiting for a response as this will help prevent muscle fatigue from continuous grasping."