Smartphones lead to thumb pain: new study

Approximately two in every five British citizen experience somekind of thumb pain as a result of using a smartphone in the last five years.

That’s an astonishing 43 per cent of all users in the U.K., according to the latest research from mobile phone service provider O2. The research from O2 reveals that more 26 million people in the UK have suffered from thumb pain. With the average British smartphone owner spending 13 minutes playing games, 24 minutes browsing the Web and 15 minutes on social networks a day, the thumb is taking a battering.

The research also found:

  • Over half (52 per cent) say their thumb gets tired when they use their smartphone; and
  • 41 per cent rest their thumbs when using their mobiles. 

To tackle the problem O2 is piloting ‘Thumbells’ – a fitness weight designed to strengthen the thumb and fingers. They’ve also teamed up with BMI Healthcare to create a fitness regime to compliment the Thumbells that will get O2 customers fit for 4G, ahead of the company’s 4G launch this Summer.

The Thumbells, exclusively designed for O2, are being trialled by staff to ensure their thumbs are ready for 4G. The company will also be making a Thumbell available to customers on their twitter account.

Top Thumb Fitness Tips

  1. Rest your forearms when you can
  2. Use a light touch on the keypad
  3. Don’t grip the phone too hard
  4. Have short nails
  5. Use a touch screen
  6. Watch your neck position as your neck is connected to your thumb muscles
  7. See a hand therapist if you get thumb pain or other symptoms

Goldsmith added that the thumb is being used more than ever for rapid, fine movements. We are seeing gadget related injuries increasing and it’s time we gave our digits a helping hand. The Thumbells provide a fun way for getting us to focus on thumb protection and the O2 ‘fit for 4G’ video class and top tips will hopefully help you to prepare your thumbs for the speed of 4G.

David Johnson, General Manager Devices for O2 in the UK said: “We know our customers are using their thumbs more than ever. Data use is experiencing exponential growth and with 4G just around the corner, we want to make sure our customers are ready to make the most of what 4G will offer them. Whether it’s choosing tracks to listening to, scrolling through videos or playing mobile games We’re all using our thumbs to interact with the technological revolution, and as such it’s important we keep our most precious digits healthy.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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