Text messagers beware: the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, a U.K. trade organization for physiotherapists, is warning that the repetitive motions associated with text messaging may cause long-term damage to your digits. Okay, that's not a huge surprise, but we thought we'd take the occasion to provide a few ways to minimize the danger. The CSP guys have a few messaging tips: text with both hands to spread the load between your thumbs, use the predictive text feature on your phone, hold the phone up in front of you to reduce stress on your neck, and keep your hands close to your body to reduce stress on your neck and shoulders. Those are the basics.
As for exercises you can use to strengthen the appropriate muscles, Dr. Matthew Bennett of the British Chiropractic Association (this is obviously a hot-button issue across the pond) has a few ideas: (1) Tap each finger with the thumb of the same hand; repeat five times. (2) Pull your thumb firmly with the other hand; repeat five times. (3) Wrap an elastic band around your fingers and thumb and open your hand against the resistance; repeat 20 times. (4) Tap the palm and back of your hand on your thigh as quickly as possible; repeat 20 times. (5) This one might not be appropriate in the company of others reach up high with both arms and shake your hands then reach down low with both arms and shake; repeat three times. My advice: if you're texting 6 hours a day, stop!