• Two in Five people (43%) have had thumb pain in the last 5 years
  • Over half (52%) say their thumb gets tired when they use their smartphone
  • 41% rest their thumbs when using their mobiles
  • O2 pilots ‘Thumbells’ and a fitness regime designed by top hand specialist Nicola Goldsmith to get customers ready for 4G

Gadget use is putting the strain on Britain’s thumbs. New research from O2 reveals that over 26 million people in the UK have suffered from thumb pain in the last 5 years. With the average British smartphone owner spending 13 minutes playing games, 24 minutes browsing the web and 15 minutes on social networks a day, the thumb is taking a battering.

To tackle the problem O2 is piloting ‘Thumbells’ – a fitness weight designed to strengthen the thumb and fingers. They’ve also teamed up with BMI Healthcare to create a fitness regime to compliment the Thumbells that will get O2 customers fit for 4G, ahead of the company’s 4G launch this Summer.

The Thumbells, exclusively designed for O2, are being trialled by staff to ensure their thumbs are ready for 4G. The company will also be making a Thumbell available to customers on their twitter account.

BMI Healthcare Upper Limb Services Manager, Nicola Goldsmith has worked with O2 to devise tips and video exercises available below to get the UK’s thumbs into shape:

Top Thumb Fitness Tips
Rest your forearms when you can
Use a light touch on the keypad
Don’t grip the phone too hard
Have short nails
Use a touch screen
Watch your neck position as your neck is connected to your thumb muscles
See a hand therapist if you get thumb pain or other symptoms

Nicola Goldsmith says, “The thumb is being used more than ever for rapid, fine movements. We are seeing gadget related injuries increasing and it’s time we gave our digits a helping hand. The Thumbells provide a fun way for getting us to focus on thumb protection and the O2 ‘fit for 4G’ video class and top tips will hopefully help you to prepare your thumbs for the speed of 4G”.

With the advent of 4G and the increasing popularity of mobile gaming entertainment – over half of UK smartphone owners are using their phones for gaming – O2 is taking the initiative around thumb health.

In fact the O2 research revealed that two thirds (66%) of Britons wish their thumbs were faster and more dexterous.

Nicola Goldsmith added, “I can only see thumb use and the levels of thumb injuries increasing. We tone, train and maintain most of our muscles but why not the thumb? Let’s prevent rather than mend and look after our most precious limb”.

To complement the thumb workout exercise class videos, O2 is now planning to release an inspirational video to raise awareness of thumb health.

David Johnson, General Manager Devices for O2 in the UK said: “We know our customers are using their thumbs more than ever. Data use is experiencing exponential growth and with 4G just around the corner, we want to make sure our customers are ready to make the most of what 4G will offer them. Whether it’s choosing tracks to listening to, scrolling through videos or playing mobile games We’re all using our thumbs to interact with the technological revolution, and as such it’s important we keep our most precious digits healthy.”





O2 have also released a motivational film to get Britain ready for 4G:[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0opauGoRtc[/youtube]


Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
Virgin Media
press enquiries
press enquiries