New Health Problems That Our Parents Never Had by Roz Denny Fox

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.


  1. Thanks for sharing this great information! I didn't know about keeping your devices at waist height and will do that from now on. I think I have stiletto strain after wearing my only pair high high heels to a party and suddenly I felt happy again with my navy, brown and black sensible shoes- and wished I'd been sensible enough to wear them! Have a great weekend, Roz

  2. Roz - you always find the most interesting stuff! Good cautions for all of us. Fortunately, I can no longer wear anything but tennies and flat shoes, don't own many of the devices that cause those problems, and because I work at home, I'm up and down all day, move around, do other things, so the hours at the computer aren't as traumatic for me. There are definite advantages to being older! Thanks for all the great information.

  3. Great post, Roz!

    I love my high heels, so I'm destined for this ailment!

  4. Thanks you guys for checking in. I'm in the process of typing all of my email addresses into my new Outlook Express system. The old one didn't transfer over. Aiyii! But I did find my way to the blog sit. Also want to say I've read Inglath Cooper's book when it was a SuperR and it's really good.

  5. This is a wonderful blog! Thanks! And congrats on your 4 1/2 stars in RT!!!! Way to go Roz!

  6. Aimee, I was just so happy to see that the RT reviewer seems to really like the Heartwarming books she's reviewing. 2 were (4) mine 4 1/2 and 1 4 1/2 top pick.
    Yay for the month of July.

  7. Hi Roz.
    I've heard of Blackberry thumb, but didn't realize that it was still so prevelant. I'm a flats girl. I fall over in heels. :-)
    I will be changing how I hold my devices. I'm on the e-reader almost everyday--and hold it right at my navel.
    Congratulations on the great RT reviews!
    Thanks for the post and good luck with the rest of the info shifts to your new computer.

  8. Last time I wore heels was my wedding, and I had a thought during the romantic moment wishing I were in flats, but then the dress would have been too long hehehehe

    I thought Ingath's book looked interesting :)

  9. The last time I wore really high heels, the heel broke while I was going down the stairs, and I went flying. Never bought another pair. Who would have thought that frightening experience would have saved me from a new disease - stiletto strain?


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