If the headlines are reliable, the overuse of cell phones has been associated with everything from poor posture to reduced sexual desire to low sperm count. Now we can add another potential risk of overuse of technology to the list: according to a series of reports from researchers in Australia, over-reliance on mobile devices can lead to the actual horns that appear on the back of your skull.
According to a report published Thursday morning Washington PostResearchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, have published research suggesting that some people between the ages of 18 and 25 are developing small bone spurs, or enthesophytes, on the back of their necks as a result of their weight being shifted. from the spine to the muscles in the back of the head. As this bone growth is usually caused by leaning forward, study authors David Shahar and Mark Sayers have speculated in a 2016 paper that they may be caused by "increased use of portable technologies from an early age" . a buttload when you are a teenager / teenager, you may not end up looking for exactly like the Fauno in Labyrinth of Bread, but you may have a little more skull than you expected.
Shahar and Sayers have published a number of articles for that purpose, with the latter coming out in 2018, which means that the results of these studies are not exactly new. However, a recent BBC report on how advances in technology led to changes in human musculoskeletal structure have attracted renewed attention to the pair's findings. And unsurprisingly, they provoked a series of strong social media reactions, with many people tweeting (on their phones, presumably) that the study left them terrified by the overuse of cell phones. "I did not have "kids growing up" horns"On my dystopic bingo card hellscape, but I do now," wrote one person while another tweetedI just threw my phone across the room.
However, there are more than a few reasons to take the study results with a grain of salt. To begin with, the study has some serious failuresAccording to John Hawks, a paleoanthropologist who wrote in a post from Medium that the study did not have a table of results and that it presented two sets of conflicting data regarding the prevalence of the characteristic in men versus women. (The text of the study says that men have much higher rates of extended external occipital protuberance [EEOP], but a figure in the study indicates that rates are equally high among men and women. "The numbers in the study do not add up," said Hawks Rolling Stone. "I do not think it's impossible that this trait is changing, but the study offers no reason to believe." In addition, Hawks said, Previous research has shown that while it is unclear exactly what causes this trait, some populations in which high rates have been observed frequently perform heavy manual labor – tasks that are supposed to put much more stress on the neck muscles than simply looking at the group of phones .
It is also important to note that the authors of the study do not prove a link between the use of mobile phones and the development of so-called "horns", they only suggest this in the discussion section of their 2016 article. Washington Post The story seems to fall squarely in the genre of people freaking out about how technology can negatively affect young people's health, which also includes stories like menacing warnings about the dangers of "text neck" or "sexual recessions" caused by overuse of the phone. The various threats associated with technology can attract clicks, but to a large extent they are not supported by research and possibly say more about our complicated relationship with technology than about the health risks posed by technology itself.
That said, according to Dr. Steven Shoshany, a chiropractor based in New York, the so-called "text horn" is absolutely one thing. "As a practicing chiropractor, it's an epidemic. I see this all the time on X-rays, "he says, estimating that" 40 to 50% "of his clientele have some version of it. He says that it is particularly common for young people to develop it because their bones are more malleable than those of adults. "We are seeing children up to 10 years of age developing this," he said. "And it's something we're seeing more and more." Shoshany is unequivocal in believing that overuse of telephone is the culprit and recommends that parents limit their children's viewing time to one to two hours a day.
If you are curious as to whether or not you have developed the so-called skull horns, Shahar says it is easy to find out: you can simply reach the back of the skull base and feel if you have a slight bulge there. . But truth be told, even if you do, as Caroline Haskins of Motherboard points out, there are far more terrifying things in the world than whether or not you have a small bone growing on the back of your skull – although if you are afraid of have bad posture, it's probably worth putting the phone on the air for a few minutes, why what difference does it make if you read that text in the group topic about Taylor Swift's new video?