I woke up the other day with “iphone hand”. I first noticed when I realized I couldn’t quite hold my toothbrush, and pressing on the sore point (Hegu for those of you interested in acupuncture) sent the ache shooting up to my elbow.
I make a conscious effort to sit without slouching and to walk with my head held high (it has a wonderful effect on my mood as well as my posture) and here I am, victim to a rookie mistake.
The previous night while leaning on my side in bed, I used the ipod touch for a bit of pre-sleep browsing (another no-no!). It has been documented anecdotally that the touchscreen flicking causes the thumb to strain itself in an unnatural way. I didn’t do myself any favours either by being on the side of my itouch-using hand which caused me to tighten my grip on it as I continued to thumb-flick without a care in the world.
The result was a hand that ached and my jar opening ability severely hampered. Sigh.
A little bit of acupuncture eased the problem but the truth is, this was such a silly injury. It made me think of some easy ways to avoid silly problems.
- Bend your knees, slightly.
Your knees aren’t only designed for going up and down stairs and to help lift heavy objects. I bend my knees when I’m standing on the train or bus, I find it helps me absorb the shocks and jolts better. I also bend my knees ever so slightly when I’m chopping at the kitchen counter or washing up the dishes. And I bend my knees a lot more when I’m putting laundry into the washing machine, and when I’m brushing my teeth. It’s become such a habit now I do it without thinking.
- Drink water.
Often, a headache or dizziness is your body’s way of telling you it’s parched. Sometimes you eat because you think you’re hungry when really your body is just thirsty. Make it a regular factor in your day; drink little and frequently, don’t down 3 liters in 15 minutes!
Besides the health factor, it also does wonders for your skin.
- Don’t hold one position for long periods of time.
I wouldn’t have had iphone claw if I had relaxed my hand at regular intervals. Office workers are taught to blink and stretch and waiters who have to stand all day should try standing on their toes every now and then just to stretch. People on long haul planes shouldn’t sit during the entire flight.
- Turn down the volume.
We spend an awful lot of our day with earphones in our ears (and listening to some people’s music despite those earphones being in their ears). We only have one set of ears and it’s only wise that we try to preserve their health. Loud music is damaging to the ears, but loud music blasting that close to the ears is very damaging. If I can hear your music through your earphones, either the volume is too loud or you need better earphones which don’t bleed, thus allowing you to turn down the volume.
And if you’re a cyclist, runner, jogger or pedestrian, you really shouldn’t have both earphones in. How are you meant to be aware of your surroundings if you are entirely in your own musically-lovely world??
What other things do you do to avoid unnecessary injuries?
Image: Martin Strattner via Flickr
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