It looks like using technology to take shortcuts in all areas of life is finally taking its toll on us (or at least on millennials).
A study published in the Journal of Hand Therapy from North Carolina measured the grip strength of 237 millennials between 20 to 34 years of age. Elizabeth Fain, co-author of the study and the assistant professor of occupational therapy at Winston-Salem State University, found that the average grip strength of millennials was well below the average from 30 years ago.
And of course, she credits the muscle deterioration in our hands to technology. “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,” she said.
According to Fain, millennials’ thumb muscles are often inflamed because of texting. “Those muscles are so small — they were not designed to work that long, kind of like a marathon.”
The study also pointed out how men between 25 to 29 years old were able to squeeze around 120 pounds with their right hands in 1985 and can now only squeeze around 95 pounds. The average female grip strength also decreased by 11 per cent in the past 30 years. And the weaker the grip strength, the higher a chance of getting an injury.
No, we’re not ready to give up our smartphones to make our hands stronger, because clearly, technology’s addictive. But it’d probably be a good idea to start doing some hand exercises.