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Not only the thumb suffers

The new smartphones continue to grow in size. And so is the amount of time we’re spending using them, which means that sooner or later we are bound to run into health problems. This Health Tip explains some of the steps you can take to prevent possible symptoms.

Permanent stretching, typing and swiping can cause pain in the thumb, or even lead to tendinitis, especially among those who use their phone for many hours during the day. This is because the latest generation of smartphones are getting bigger and bigger, making it increasingly difficult, for example, to start applications whose icons are on the opposite side of the screen. In short, holding and using a mobile phone in one hand is becoming more and more of a challenge.

More time spent on the phone
Not only the handling of the device is becoming more of a challenge, it's also the amount time that people spend on their device that may lead to problems. Regardless of whether you’re typing or reading, it’s likely that your head is tilting forward, which may cause not only headaches and neck problems, but also lead to stress as an unpleasant side effect. And the perceived need of constantly having to be available is robbing us of time to relax.

What should I do?

We recommend the following tips as a way of relieving pain or preventing it altogether:
  • Relieve your thumbs: Either use both thumbs when texting or hold the phone in one hand and type with the index finger of the other hand.
  • Become more aware of how you use your phone and take sufficiently long breaks.
  • Switch off your phone in the evening or activate its airplane mode. This will make it less tempting for you to reach for it whenever it beeps.
  • Train your stomach and shoulder muscles. If these muscles are week, other muscles (e.g. finger and hand muscles) may bear excessive strain.
  • Pay attention to your posture when using your phone. Sit as upright as possible and avoid constantly looking down.
If you have any further questions about your health, you can ask the doctors and medical staff at the sante24 health advice helpline for expert advice – free of charge, 24 hours a day. On request, sante24 can also make a doctor’s appointment for you. Phone +41 (0)44 404 86 86. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck of potential illnesses and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with sante24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to sante24.