The perils of incorrect texting technique

On top of everything else there is to worry about – bills, your job, what you eat (just to name a few) – now you have to worry about your texting technique. Apparently there’s a proper way to text and continually using poor technique might cause hand, arm, and even neck pain. If you’re like me, and texting is your preferred form of communication, the results of this study might be slightly concerning … or simply resign you to a fate of hand and neck pain.

The study was conducted at the Sahlgrenska Academy (at the University of Gothenburg) in Sweden and was led by ergonomist Ewa Gustafsson. As part of the study, researchers analyzed the texting technique of 56 young adults who text on a daily basis. They used a device that measures flexibility in order to monitor muscular activity and thumb movement. About half of the participants complained of pain in the neck, arms, or hands.

They found that those experiencing pain tended to text with one thumb, using it at an increased speed and with less breaks. Participants with pain were also more likely to text while hunching over, therefore putting strain on the neck and back.

If you’re interested in improving the way you text, the study’s news release provides some not-exactly-groundbreaking advice:

ERGONOMICALLY CORRECT TEXT MESSAGING

Don’t sit in the same position for a long time; instead try to vary your position. Use the chair’s backrest. Relieve your forearms by resting them against a desk or your thighs. Use both thumbs. Avoid hunching over for a long time. Give your thumbs a break when typing long messages. Don’t type too fast.”

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