I take a health magazine and the June issue has an interesting article titled: Modern-Day Health Woes, Solved: by Laura A. Beil. Her piece explores several health problems that were not around in previous generations.
Two areas she researched, doctors dealt with issues she terms "tablet neck" and "Blackberry Thumb". It seems our increasing obsession with constantly checking our tablets and smart phones can cause more than a passing headache or crick in the neck. According to a doctor she talked to: it can lead to being diagnosed at younger and younger ages with arthritis or tendonitis. Ms. Beil mentions a study done in a journal called: "Applied Ergonomics" where 84 % of mobile phone users report pain in at least one body part. Most often is the base of the right thumb. A hand surgery specialist indicates so called "Blackberry Thumb" can eventually require surgery. And in another study done by the same journal, as many as 91% of us who stare done at devices held or fixed at navel level, strain the back of our necks.
Suggestions to relieve both conditions require simple steps. If you use a tablet don't keep it lying flat. And hold your phone chest high. Don't slam your fingers on either a screen or keyboard. Get up and stretch periodically instead of spending long hours hunched over a tablet or smart phone. Lastly they suggest interspersing texting with making actual phone calls.
Another modern-day danger Ms. Beil researched for the article deals with "Earbud-induced hearing loss." A condition once limited to construction workers, rock stars or the elderly now is a concern for run-of -the mill folks of all ages. For that information the author referenced a report from the John Hopkins School of Public Health which stated the country may be facing an epidemic of noise-related hearing loss partly from the grown use of personal listening devices. Conditions such as tinnitus, or buzzing and ringing in the ears are showing up in younger patients--this from a family practitioner at Baylor University. It's thought earbuds provide high volume, high fidelity sound right through your eardrum. And the convenience afforded by the smaller devices account for multi-tasking which make it easy to listen to favorite tunes while watching TV shows or movies on hand-held tablets (again with your necks bent). Suggested solutions for ear-related problems are to turn down the volume and limit the amount of time you or your children listen to music through earbuds.
The article I found highly informative also delves into two other areas considered a sign of the times. One is "Screen-related Sleep Disorder" and another called: "Stiletto Strain".
The first we writers are probably especially guilty of since more and more of us spend hours in front of a computer screen and stop to spend our free time reading from hand-held e-readers.
Apparently research suggest light--termed blue-light from LED screens inhibit the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and disrupt circadian rhythms.
The last portion of the article devoted to stiletto strain deals with the popularity of spike heels and their proliferation at lower and lower costs. Podiatrists say the higher risk for osteoarthritis. Researchers studying the effect of wearing heels say wedge or platforms are not a safer bet. While they place your foot at a less-severe angle, the way you walk still puts added weight and on the bones of feet and toes.
Because all sections of this informative article speak to little discussed health issues many of us currently face, I recommend finding Laura A. Beil's article in June issue of Health magazine where you can read all of the studies Ms. Biel discusses.