If you thought the only long-term consequences of your smartphone habit were a serious case of FOMO and a Tinder addiction, think again.
It seems that all those miles we log on our phones swiping left and right are not doing our hands any favours.
A study published in the Journal of Hand Therapy from North Carolina measured the grip strength of 237 millennials between the ages of 20 and 34.
The researchers found that the average grip strength of millennials was well below the average from 30 years ago.
The men between 25 to 29 years old could squeeze about 120 pounds with their right hands in 1985, but now can only squeeze around 95 pounds. For women 20 to 24 years old, the average right grip strength was lower by more than 11 pounds.
The findings aren’t all that surprising considering how millennials live and work, said lead author Elizabeth Fain, assistant professor of occupational therapy at Winston-Salem State University.
“Now, a lot of jobs are in technology, using technology a lot throughout the day, and most millennials are using smartphones,” Fain told TODAY. “They’re not using their hands as much as they were when they had to work in agricultural or manufacturing jobs, or had more physical chores.”
With weaker hands comes a higher chance of injury, particularly inflammation in our thumbs thanks to all that swiping. There’s even a nickname for the condition – iPhoneitis.
So what’s a poor weak-handed millennial to do? Well, you can start by doing some simple hand exercises. Get yourself an old-fashioned stress ball and go to town. Or, if you’re looking for a new hobby, try indoor rock climbing. Hand strength is crucial to the sport and will tone up those digits in no time.