Warning over dangers of texting 104

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by Alexander Lawrie

YOUNG Scots send more texts than anywhere else in Britain – but are now being urged to cut down in a bid to ward of injury.
 
Almost two thirds of Scots aged 16-24 are sending an average of 20 or more texts a day.
 
One in six (16%) are now complaining of discomfort in their hands and a small number are suffering from pain in their arms, neck and shoulders.
 
Physiotherapists are now urging young and old to change their texting habits to prevent the onset of text message injury (TMI).
 
A Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) study has revealed Scots youngsters (65%) text almost twice the amount of the British average (34%).
 
Respondents in the East Midlands were second on the list with 55 per cent.
 
And no 16-24 year olds in the north of England said they texted more than 20 times per day.
 
As Scots youngsters await their Higher results next week, the survey revealed partners (64%) and best friends (29%) were top of the list when it comes to spreading good news.
 
But poor old dads were left waiting by the phone as not one respondent said they would call them after hearing news.
 
Bronwyn Clifford, a chartered physiotherapist and CSP spokesperson, said: “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.
 
“Too much texting can result in pain and swelling of the tendons at the base of the thumb and wrist.”
 
The CSP have set out a five-step programme for safer texting, including holding the phone up with the screen facing towards you, taking breaks between texting and carrying out arm and finger exercises.
 
Kenryck Lloyd-Jones, CSP Policy Officer for Scotland, says texters need to think about the frequency and intensity of their texting.
 
He said: “Keep messages short and use abbreviations and the predictive text function on your phone. 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.”
 
According to the Mobile Data Association over 4 million texts are sent every hour in Britain, with most texts being sent between 10.30pm and 11pm.
 
The Association’s latest figures also show Brits sent 6 billion text messages in December 2007 – almost 5000 every second.

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