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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 12:47 GMT
Texting boom 'could lead to injuries'
Text messaging
Too much texting can injury fingers and wrists
The popularity of text messaging on mobile phones is continuing to rise, but experts are warning that sending too many could lead to hand injuries.

Last month, a record 1.4 billion were sent in the UK - 100 million more than the previous month. The surge is attributed to a boom in messages sent on Valentine's Day.

However, the increase could lead to finger and wrist injuries from repetitively pushing the tiny buttons on mobile phones, say medical experts.

Texting exercises
Stretch head to the chest
Shrug the shoulders
Stretch and rotate wrist
Spread fingers
Clench and unclench fist
A safe text guide with exercises for avoiding injury, including shoulder shrugs and neck-muscle stretches, has now been launched by Virgin Mobiles.

The Mobile Data Association, which compiles the figures, says the 57.5 million messages sent by amorous texters on 14 February was more than double the number sent on the same day in 2001.

Its chairman Mike Short said: "The growing awareness of the benefits of text messaging has meant it is the choice method for discreet communications - particularly when protocol dictates as on Valentine's Day."

Strain

The MDA expects Britons to be tapping out 60 million messages a day by the end of the year.

The Virgin Mobile safe text guide is backed by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) and the Repetitive Strain Injury Association.

BCA spokesman Matthew Bennett said: "Text messaging regularly, over a long period of time, could cause repetitive strain and lead to injuries in later life."

The chief executive of the RSI Association, Andrew Chadwick, said that maintaining blood flow to hands was crucial to avoiding injury and regularly stretching fingers would help.

See also:

14 Feb 02 | Business
Cutting spam out of your mobile diet
05 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Text message voting to be trialled
17 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
Killer text message found
10 Jun 01 | New Media
BBC 'breaks txt record'
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