A new study commissioned by the National Accident Helpline in the United Kingdom reveals that injuries related to smartphone use are on the rise.
About 41 percent of the respondents in the study admitted that they experienced "technology-related" mishaps, and the numbers are higher among 16- to 24-year-old smartphone users, according to the Daily Mail.
Around 13 percent of the respondents said they have bumped into something while they were checking their phones while walking, but of the younger users the number is at 43 percent. Some 60 percent of these youngsters also admitted they have dropped their phone on their face while reading messages while lying down.
The research was conducted in observance of Accident Awareness Week. "In our fast-moving world of smartphones and other gadgets and gizmos, we're encouraging people to pay a little more attention to the potential risks around them, so we can reduce avoidable accidents and get on with enjoying all the great things that modern life has to offer," said National Accident Helpline CEO Russell Atkinson, the Daily Mail reported.
In May, another study conducted in Australia revealed that smartphone and tablet use is causing undue stress and injury to the neck and shoulders. "People just don't realize the havoc they are wreaking on their neck and shoulders through bad posture and repetitive strain when using mobile devices," said physiotherapist Kirsty McNab via The New Daily.
"A recent study showed that if we bend our head forward 60 degrees, it's equal to 27kg [about 60 pounds] of force on our necks. That's like having a small child sit on your neck while sending a text!" McNab said further. "People tend to spend between two and four hours a day either reading or texting on their mobile phones or other hand-held devices. That adds up to 700 to 1400 hours per year of additional neck stress."
Another survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that smartphone use among Americans leads to loss of dexterity and injuries to the thumb, which could potentially develop De Quervain's disease, according to Today.
To lessen injuries, accidents and mishaps with smartphone use, the experts advise the following:
1) Never use the phone while driving. In the United Kingdom, this is actually illegal, according to the U.K. Government, while some states and U.S. territories have enforced bans, per the National Conference of State Legislatures.
2) Take breaks from using the cellphone. "It's OK to put your phone down. We shouldn't be slaves to the machine," Dr. Meredith Osterman of The Philadelphia Hand Center said in the Today report.
3) Keep your phone in your bag when you're walking. Never make it a habit to walk while checking your phone.
4) Charge your phones in the proper areas. Not on the floor, as it may cause tripping, and not under your pillow when you sleep, as it is a fire hazard.
5) Take advantage of your phone's voice-to-text feature, if there is one, to give your hands a break from typing.
6) Whenever possible, type with the phone placed on a table and not when you're holding it to lessen tension and stress on your thumb.
7) If the pain gets worse, use a splint. Some take medicine and other treatments to relax the tendons, which are likely inflamed.
8) If you're in the habit of listening to music on your phone while cycling, then stop. You won't be able to hear traffic with it.
9) Never use cheap and unbranded chargers for your mobile phone as it can burst into flames.
10) Be aware of where you're taking selfies, as some have already died from accidents while taking them.