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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Texting can be a pain in the neck!

By Sarah Klein

Back and neck pain isn't something that most young people are used to dealing with. But recent research suggests that back and shoulder discomfort may be making a generational shift. The reason: texting!

Judith Gold, assistant professor of epidemiology at Temple University's College of Health Professions, presented evidence at this year's meeting of the American Public Health Association suggesting that the more students texted, the more pain they reported in their necks and shoulders.

"What we've seen so far is very similar to what we see with office workers who've spent most of their time at a computer," said Gold. "The way the body is positioned for texting – stationary shoulders and back with rapidly moving fingers – is similar to the position for typing on a computer."

According to Nielsen, teens send and receive an average of 2,900 texts per month, which works out at about 97 per day. (For comparison's sake, teens are only making 191 calls a month, about six a day.) Gold found that her text-happy students were starting to feel the effects.

"Looking around our campus, you see every student on their cell phones, typing away," she says in a news release. "It's the age group that texts the most, so it's important to know what the health effects may be to learn whether it will cause long-term damage."

Gold warns that because text messaging is a fairly new technology, it's also a new area of research for those who study ergonomics. But the links between carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tendonitis for office workers and others who spend much of their day typing are firmly established. "Given the similarities in body position," said Gold, "findings from research on overuse injuries from computers could be applicable here."



Comments:
Comment by Brandy, posted 12/5/2009, 8:18 AM:

I can totally understand this post, makes perfect sense. Not sure I will give up my texting just yet though :-(
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