We’re holding our smartphones the wrong way and it could be damaging our health, expert says

We’re holding our smartphones the wrong way and it could be damaging our health, expert says

10/26/2021

As you're reading this, you're probably holding your phone as it rests against your pinky finger aren't you? Well, maybe you should rethink that, as it could be damaging to your long-term health.

We're all more than aware of the mental impacts using our smartphones too often can have, but apparently, 'anchoring' our phones with our little finger does a lot more damage than you'd initially think.

Tweets and Instagram posts about 'everyone holding their phone the same way' often go viral, but the term "smartphone finger" has recently reappeared, causing many to wonder if there is a genuine reason to be worried.

Our thumbs tend to do most of the scrolling on when we're scanning through websites and using social media, meaning that the thumb and pinky fingers tend to do most of the work.

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They are in turn the most impacted by smartphone use, and can sometimes cramp or start to ache as a result.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Ben Lombard – who is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy – confirmed that all the theories were true.

He explained that holding our phones "with the little finger underneath supporting the weight of the phone" can cause "ulnar nerve compression if sustained for long periods of time".

The ulnar nerve runs from the inside of the elbow, down along the inner forearm and into the hand, ending at the pinky side.

It's one of the three main nerves in the arm and its purpose is to transmit signals to both the forearm and hand, so we'd say it's pretty important.

Multiple things can cause the ulnar nerve to become trapped, such as prolonged stretching or prolonged pressure – the latter of which can be triggered by your mobile phone.

Numerous scientific studies have shown links between smartphone use (when held improperly) and the likelihood of developing wrist or hand disorders.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is also frequently mentioned in the field, with many health professionals confirming that increased hand-held device use can indeed lead to an increased chance of developing it.

A professor from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Peter White, has supported this theory, revealing that "Caution may be warranted when using hand-held electronic devices in order to minimise the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.”

Of course, it's not just your smartphone which can lead to this, as those who work in jobs which require repetitive hand movements (such as typing) can also be at an increased risk.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome can include pain, numbness, finger tingling, and even weakened grip strength.

So hopefully, you're not still holding your phone with your pinky as support?

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