The increasing use of smartphones, especially full touchscreen models, has increased the strain on our hands, especially the thumb, which now has to reach for parts of the device it didn't need to reach for before. Be it games, social media, Internet browsing, or just messaging, thumbs have become overused and worn out. This is causing O2 some concern and it has just the right solution to fix it.
O2 is worried that the upcoming launch of its 4G service this summer will aggravate the situation and further spread injuries across Britain. It fears that the added speed of 4G will definitely cause an increase in mobile phone usage. And it is for that purpose that the company has launched a campaign to help strengthen and lessen the strain on overworked thumbs.
Enlisting the assistance of Nicola Goldsmith, Upper Limb Services Manager for BMI Healthcare, O2 has created a workout program for thumbs that it calls "Fit for 4G". A series of videos demonstrating the various exercises was also shared by O2. Other parts of the program include tips such as resting the forearms regularly, or not gripping the phone too hard, or even being aware of the neck's position when using a phone. It also recommends seeing a hand therapist in case of thumb pains.
Here's one exercise using a soft ball:
As part of the "Fit for 4G" program, O2 also unveiled the "Thumbell", a miniature fitness weight ergonomically designed for thumbs. Nicola Goldsmith says that the Thumbell provides a fun way to exercise the thumb. O2 will be making the Thumbell available to customers on their twitter account but has not indicated when or how much it will cost.