[2006-09-09] 'Blackberry Thumb' Proves a Sour Fruit of Modern Labor
SATURDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- You can now add "BlackBerry Thumb" to the list of workplace maladies, says the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).
BlackBerry Thumb refers to an increasingly common, repetitive-stress injury stemming from use of the popular handheld electronic devices. This stress injury causes pain and/or numbness in the thumbs and joints of the hands.
The condition is caused by spending too much time on these devices -- checking and composing e-mails, instant messaging, and accessing the Internet.
"The use of PDAs (personal digital assistants) is no longer limited to the eight hours spent in the workplace," Margot Miller, president of the APTA's Occupational Health Special Interest Group, said in a prepared statement.
"More and more, people are depending on these devices to stay in touch with friends and family before and after the work day and on the weekends, as well as having access to work when they leave the office; that is where the heart of the problem lies," Miller said.
Many PDA users are middle-aged and overuse of the handheld devices can aggravate underlying arthritis.
"Because the keyboard of the PDA is so small, and because the thumb, which is the least dexterous part of the hand, is overtaxed (for faster typing), the risk of injury just skyrockets," Miller said.
The APTA offers the following tips on how to avoid BlackBerry Thumb:
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about repetitive motion disorders.
Source: 'Blackberry Thumb' Proves a Sour Fruit of Modern Labor - Yahoo! News
My wife told me she saw a piece on this on the local news last night as well. Never occurred to me before, but it makes perfect sense that the use of PDA type devices might have the same sort of keyboard related injury risk that frequent laptop and PC users suffer.
The thing that I appreciate about this article is that it states the issue in a factual way and offers some sound advice on how to mitigate injury risk...it was refreshing to not see hysterical "Blackberrys are Crippling America" jargon.
Thx, D Fisher,this is good to keep in the back of our minds.
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