appeal, but are you risking your health?
TO COINCIDE with RSI Awareness Day
that was held on 28 February 2006, Chartered
Physiotherapists warned UK text addicts that constant mobile
messaging could be harmful to their health. Latest figures
reveal that the number of text messages sent everyday has risen to
100 million and that the number of mobile phones currently in
circulation exceeds the UK's population size, taking the figure to
over 60 million. The Mobile Data Association predicts that 36.5
billion text messages will be sent during 2006, a 14% increase on
With so many people using mobile phones on a daily basis,
physiotherapists are concerned that the repetitive movements
involved in tapping out messages could cause injuries to the hands,
wrists and arms. Chartered Physiotherapist Bronwyn Clifford
has worked with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) on a
guide mobile gadget users can follow to help prevent the onset of 'text
Bronwyn says:- "People often think that repetitive strain
injuries are only associated with the workplace. However what we do
between 9am and 5pm is not the only factor in the development of
these problems. Excessive texting and prolonged use of the
buttons and dials found on an array of modern handheld gadgets,
including MP3s, Blackberry devices and portable games consoles, can
contribute to hand, wrist and arm problems. The small,
definite, repetitive movements used to manoeuvre controls on these
tiny handsets can begin to cause pain over time. The thumb, while
good for gripping, is not a very dextrous digit and is particularly
susceptible to injury."
Top tips for texters:-
1. Break regularly when texting, before the onset of any discomfort.
Try to use both hands together when texting to 'spread the load'
2. Learn to use the predictive text feature on your phone. This will
reduce the repetitive motion of pressing various keys.
3. Hold the phone up in front of you so you do not have to flex your
neck too much as you look down to view the screen.
4. Keep your hands close to your body when holding your phone. The
weight of a phone may not feel much, but the load on your arm is
significantly increased if the arm is held out stretched and this
action will put strain on your neck and shoulder muscles.
5. If your hand or forearm feels tense or sore, massage your arm
from the wrist to the elbow and try these three exercises:-
a. Regularly open your fingers and gently stretch them out.
b. Stretch your arm out, rotate your wrist so it is facing upwards
and with your other hand gently pull your palm down towards the
floor to feel a stretch over the front of your forearm muscles. Hold
for 15 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
c. Stretch your arm out, rotate your wrist so it is facing downwards
and with your other hand gently pull your hand back towards your
wrist to feel a stretch over the back of your forearm muscles. Hold
for 15 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.
for gadget users:-
1. With MP3 players, be aware that simply changing songs too often
can lead to repetitive strain injury, especially when using rotating
wheels. Try to alternate fingers and hands when operating gadgets.
2. When using game console units, ensure that you break regularly to
stretch and move around between games.
For further information on how to avoid RSI, seek professional
advice. To find a chartered physiotherapist speak to your GP about a
referral to your local physiotherapy service. Alternatively, visit
www.physio2u.org.uk for a list of private
practitioners in your area.
of the class!
A LIVERPOOL school has been described as 'outstanding' by
inspectors. OFSTED has given St Anne's (Stanley) Junior Mixed
and Infants in Old Swan the maximum possible score in every single
inspection category, and told the school they were "too
modest" in their pre-inspection evaluation.
The school is located within one of the most deprived areas of the
country, and pupils enter the school with low standards of
education. However, by the time they leave they have above average
results in English, maths and science - with no underachievement
among any group.
The school is a specialist language centre and the children are
taught French and more about other cultures through trips to Paris
and a "Travel Buddy" scheme.
Councillor Paul Clein, executive member for children's services,
said:- "This school is a beacon of excellence which provides a
fantastic education for its children. Congratulations to all
pupils and staff for their hard work in driving up standards. It is
making a real difference to the potential of children during their
Inspectors noted that youngsters "thoroughly enjoy school,
work extremely hard and are very enthusiastic about learning",
and teachers and support staff have "excellent relationships"
with pupils. The curriculum is described as "rich,
stimulating and exciting", and the school is praised for
incorporating healthy lifestyles and anti-bullying themes into
Headteacher Paul Bolger said:- " This outstanding report is a
result of many years hard and focused work from all staff, children,
governors and parents at our school."
The only recommendation that the inspection team has made is for the
school to raise the standards in English from "good"
SCHOOL MAKES OLD BAILEY APPEARANCE
A Merseyside school, Calday Grange Grammar, is to represent the
region in the National Final of the Bar Mock Trial Competition on 11
The Bar National Mock Trial Competition involves teams of students
aged 15 to 18 taking on the parts of barristers, court staff and
jurors to tackle complex court cases. Each school team has been
preparing for several months, helped by dedicated barrister
volunteers who have worked with the students to help them get ready
for their mock trial.
Calday Grammar won the Liverpool heat of the competition and will be
competing against 15 other schools drawn from regional heats across
the UK. The final will take place at the Old Bailey in London and
among the judges will be Stephen Hockman QC, Chair of the Bar
The Competition is sponsored by the Bar Council of England and
Wales, the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, the Faculty of Advocates
in Scotland, the Inns of Court and the Circuits, and is organised by
the Citizenship Foundation, also supported by the Department for
Commenting on the forthcoming final, Stephen Hockman QC commented:-
"The Mock Trial Competition is a superb
opportunity for young people to get to grips with their justice
system. Those who take part not only learn the importance of a fair
and effective system of justice, they gain valuable skills and have
The Competition is now in its 15th year and the Bar Council and
Citizenship Foundation aim to ensure that young people are aware of
their legal rights as well as their responsibilities.
Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said:-
"Ensuring that everyone has an understanding of the law and
legal system underpins the successful functioning of our democracy.
We are particularly pleased to be holding the final of this year's
Bar Mock Trial Competition at the Old Bailey, which is such a
powerful symbol of the criminal justice process in this country."