Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is the term used for injuries to muscles, tendons or nerves caused by repetitive movements. It has been suggested that excessive texting or playing games on mobile devices can cause RSI, but this has not been scientifically proven. The following steps can help reduce the possibility of RSI:
- Do not grip the phone tightly
- Press the buttons lightly
- Use both hands to spread the load
- Keep your hands close to your body when holding the phone.
- Hold the phone up in front of you to reduce neck movement
- Take plenty of breaks
There is increasing concern that listening to music players at high volumes with earphones that fit into the ear canal could lead to loss of hearing. Some researchers claim that one hour spent listening to an MP3 player can damage hearing, as it causes temporary changes in hearing sensitivity which may lead to long-term harm. Hearing experts recommend that you should listen to MP3 players for no more than 1 hour per day and at no more than 60% of maximum volume.
The European Commission has warned up to 10 per cent of 30-year-olds may need to wear hearing aids within ten years as a result of listening to music too loudly through headphones. They are trying to ensure MP3 players have a maximum volume of 85 decibels (dB), but users may be able to override this.
The biggest danger posed by mobile IT devices arises from the fact that users can become so engrossed in using them that their awareness of their surroundings can be reduced, for example while listening to music, answering phone calls or texting messages. Because of this, the use of mobile phones while driving is now illegal in most countries.
Some people have suggested that radiation from mobile phones and the transmission towers which broadcast their signals can have an adverse effect on users, but there is no scientific evidence to support this.