Cell Phone Ergonomics: How to Avoid the “Smart Phone Slump”
The term “smartphone slump” refers to the fact that many users have become accustomed to using their smartphones while sitting down. They are not used to holding them with one hand at all times, let alone when they are being held in both hands. This causes pain and strain on the back of the neck. Some users even develop a condition called carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS is caused by repetitive stress injury (RSI) or repetitive motion injuries.
RSI is a common problem among computer users. The symptoms of RSI include numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and weakness in the fingers and/or arms.
In addition to causing pain, holding your cellphone too close to your face can cause permanent damage to your eyesight.
There are several ways to avoid the “smartphone slump.” You could try to stand up from your desk and walk around the room instead. Or you could put it away after every 15 minutes or so. If none of these solutions work, then you might want to consider getting a standing desk. Standing desks allow you to sit down at any time without having to bend over backwards.
A standing desk is usually made out of sturdy wood and is adjustable for different heights and lengths of legs.
Sitting in an awkward position while using your phone can cause you to experience pain and fatigue in your arms, neck, back, and abdomen. It can also affect your blood circulation. Storing your phone in your pocket or a purse with the screen facing your legs (or another sensitive area) is asking for trouble.
How to hold a Smartphone Properly
The first thing you should do before picking up your phone is to adjust it to its smallest size. The reason for this is that your arms will be in a more comfortable and natural position.
After you’ve made the image as small as it can possibly be, pick it up with 2 hands. You should try to do most of your interactions using only your thumb and forefinger. Your wrist and arm should form a right angle. Your elbows should not protrude backwards but rather be kept at your side. If you find that this is a strain on your hand, forearm, or elbow then you should consider getting a wrist brace.
It will provide you with some immediate relief. While you’re at it, you might also try to lower the sensitivity of your touchscreen device.
Hunching over your phone is asking for trouble. You should try your best to keep your head, shoulders, and back aligned. It is best to look straight ahead rather than down at your phone screen. When you look down for an extended period of time, this is called “text neck.” Over time, text neck can lead to serious health issues.
How to Store Your Smartphone While You Are Not Using It
You should never leave your phone on your bed or any other soft surface. This is because the vibration feature that allows your phone to turn itself upright might end up activating completely on its own. This can cause irreparable damage to the internal mechanisms of your phone.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ergonomic Risk Assessment for the Prolonged Usage of Smartphones on Students by JL Canaria, JB Croox, AH Dayao… – … Factors and Ergonomics, 2018 – Springer
Ergonomic Risk Assessment for the Prolonged Usage of Smartphones on Students by JR Macatangay, R Vinluan… – … in Physical Ergonomics & …, 2018 – books.google.com
Comparing Flat and Edge-Screen Smartphones Operated on a One-Hand-Only Basis: A Video Observation in Laboratory Settings by MJ Kim, H Hwangbo, YG Ji – International Journal of Human …, 2020 – Taylor & Francis
Ergonomic position detector by GJ Boss, M Bender, JR Fox – US Patent 10,694,017, 2020 – Google Patents