South African teenagers' mania for communicating via cellphone is taking its toll on their thumbs, according to a study in the latest issue of the SA Medical Journal.
The study was conducted by Safura Karim, the Durban grade 11 schoolgirl who five years ago had a similar study on playstation use published in the journal.
She said in the new study that 318 of the 320 teens she interviewed at two city high schools used mxit or similar text message forums on their cellphones.
Just over half of the group had at least one of the primary symptoms of repetitive strain injury: pain or tingling in their necks, hands or back.
A total of 125 of the teens reported blisters on their fingers after engaging in messaging.
"The thumb is the least dextrous of all our fingers and is not suited to the repetitive movements required to type on a cellular phone keypad," Safura said. Her parents are both medical doctors. – (Sapa, April 2009)
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