DALLAS, Nov. 15, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- It's become a ubiquitous part of our culture: People everywhere hunched over tiny screens, cramping their hands to type on miniature-sized keyboards or tilting their necks to listen to a call. All you have to do is look at the multi-tasking driver next to you on the highway and it's easy to see that Americans are addicted to their smartphones. Now it turns out our addiction may be taking a physical toll.
"With the rise of smartphones comes a rise of repetitive stress injuries," said Dr. Eric Plasker, chiropractor and member of the Gold's Gym Fitness Institute. "In addition to overstressing our thumbs and fingers, many people are keeping their elbows and necks bent for much longer than they should. The result is new conditions that were non-existent just 10 years ago, like 'BlackBerry Thumb,' 'Network Neck' and Cell Phone Elbow, or 'Cell-bow'.'"
The stats are staggering. According to a 2010 study by comScore, more than 42 million Americans now own smartphones like BlackBerrys and iPhones, and millions more are texting and talking away on regular cell phones. Statistics from the Cellular Telephone Industries Association reveal that 1.5 trillion SMS text messages were sent in 2009 - that's over 4 billion text messages each day. Additionally, Americans spend 6.1 billion wireless minutes chatting on the phone each day - that's equivalent to 11,600 years of talking within a 24 hour period.
Cell phone usage has risen so much that Cell Phone Elbow, or "Cell-bow," has now become a common motion disorder. Cell-bow occurs when patients damage an essential nerve in their arm by bending their elbows too tightly for too long. It now affects more than 850,000 people each year - according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That's why Gold's Gym, the world's leading authority on health and fitness, is introducing the "Fit for the Phone Workout." Gold's Gym has created a number of simple exercises to make sure Americans are fit for their own phone. The goal is to help eliminate these pesky mobile maladies ... one smartphone user at a time. The following exercises are part of the Gold's Gym "Fit for the Phone Workout" and can be sprinkled throughout the day at the workplace, at the gym and on the go. Consumers are also encouraged to download a free 7 day pass to their local Gold's Gym at goldsgym.com to start an exercise routine and talk to a personal trainer about the exercises below.
DO AT YOUR DESK
- Thumbells: Tap each finger with the thumb of the same hand. Repeat five times.
- Palm Twists: Alternate tapping the palm of your hand and the back of your hand against your thigh as quickly as you can. Repeat 20 times.
- Reverse Hand Crunch: Open your hands, and spread your fingers as far apart as possible. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat eight times.
ON THE GO
- Lift your head, eyes looking forward, to interrupt looking down as you use the smartphone or similar handheld device.
- Shrug your shoulders and perform shoulder rolls to keep your shoulders, neck and upper back muscles relaxed.
AT THE GYM
- Lower Back Extensions (a.k.a. Superman) - 3 sets of 10
- Grab a stability ball and balance on it with your stomach on top and your toes on the ground. Let your torso fall over the ball, and relax your arms by your sides. Starting with your head and upper back, slowly lift your spine until it's straight. Slowly return to start. This move will strengthen your lower back, helping you to stand up straight.
- Romanian Deadlift With Upright Row - 3 sets of 10 to 12
- Stand upright, your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs as you lower them, keeping your back straight and your chest out. Then lift up the dumbbells almost to your chin, with your bent arms parallel to the ground. Slowly return to starting position.
For additional information on Fit for the Phone, to download a free 7 day pass or to learn more exercises that can be done anywhere to combat the typical Smartphone ailments, visit www.goldsgym.com or www.facebook.com/goldsgym.
About Gold's Gym
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold's Gym is the largest full service gym chain in the world with more than 700 locations in 42 states and 30 countries. Gold's Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3.5 million members worldwide, Gold's Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness. For more information please visit www.goldsgym.com or www.facebook.com/goldsgym.
SOURCE Gold's Gym