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Research suggests young people are growing horns in skulls due to excessive phone usage

By Humza ยท 27 replies
Jun 21, 2019
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  1. David Shahar and Mark Sayers of the University of Queensland, Australia, have conducted startling research that suggests how bodies of young people are adapting to the use of modern technology. A phenomenon that has not only affected us mentally but now seems to remold our physical bodies as well.

    As heads tilt forward with eyes glued to mobile screens, weight shifts from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head. This causes bone spurs in the connecting tendons and ligaments and is similar to how the skin thickens into a callus in response to pressure or chafing. "The result is a hook or hornlike feature jutting out from the skill, just above the neck," reports The Washington Post.

    The researchers say that the posture resulting from excessively using smartphones is to blame for the bone-deep changes in the body. Their study has been published in Nature's open-access Scientific Reports Journal.

    "We hypothesize EEOP [enlarged external occipital protuberance] may be linked to sustained aberrant postures associated with the emergence and extensive use of hand-held contemporary technologies, such as smartphones and tablets."

    David, a chiropractor by profession who has recently completed a PhD in biomechanics, told the news outlet that describing the bone spur was up to anyone's imagination. "You may say it looks like a bird's beak, a horn, a hook." He further noted the size of the bone spurs, which observed at around 28 millimeters in length, were considerably larger than the 10 millimeter minimum value they've set to factor into the research.

    David's supervisor and paper co-author Mark Sayers, an associate professor of biomechanics at Sunshine Coast, said that the danger was not the head horn itself but it was "portent of something nasty going on elsewhere, a sign that the head and neck are not in the proper configuration,".

    In the past, external occipital protuberance (EOP) was usually attributed to older people suffering from prolonged strain, but the researchers observe that these hornlike structures appeared on X-rays of younger subjects, including those showing no obvious symptoms, revealing how the condition is now more frequent among youth, owing to their smartphone addiction.

    The study did find its critics though. "Without knowing about the cell phone use of any of the people whose head X-rays were analyzed, it is impossible to draw conclusions about correlation between cell phone use and skull morphology," said Micheal Nitabach, a professor of physiology, genetics and neuroscience at Yale University.

    According to Sayers, renouncing technology isn't the solution. "What we need are coping mechanisms that reflect how important technology has become in our lives," he says. David also stresses on the importance of correct posture and being disciplined in maintaining it.

    To check if you might have turned sinister, he suggests reaching a hand around the lower rear of the skull to feel for any hornlike growth. Chances are that those who have one can probably feel it, too.

    Permalink to story.

  2. kira setsu

    kira setsu TS Addict Posts: 151   +125

    Always heard people say children are evil, but this is like something from the twilight zone
  3. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,824   +427

    a deformation caused from stress... something from out of the twilight zone? lulz
  4. kira setsu

    kira setsu TS Addict Posts: 151   +125

    seems like theyre just evolving built-in kickstands,

    life finds a way
    Capaill likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,534   +3,914

    I'm sorry, I can't comment until I stop laughing ......
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,016   +1,281

    Maybe if parents restricted their kids use of phones, and stop using them as BABY SITTERS, they wouldn't have the urge to be on them 24/7. Many times at doctors offices, restaurants, or other places I see a kid being "a kid" and mom hands them the phone, to keep them quiet.
  7. fluffydestroyer

    fluffydestroyer TS Booster Posts: 88   +42

    Theres so much missing data in that study I find it incredible it got reviewed in the first place. Not an expert in that subject but those conclusions seems to be way to hasty feels like bullshit. Sounds like amateur work to me.
    hk2000 and Lew Zealand like this.
  8. zenithman

    zenithman TS Rookie

    Research suggests that people who believe cell phone use causes horns to grow out the skull are most likely to be sold beach front property in Wyoming.
    learninmypc and hk2000 like this.
  9. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 773   +657

    It was done by a chiropractor.

    Granted, one who recently got a Ph.D. in Biomechanics so that's an improvement. But as mentioned in the article, this is all correlation and no causation. However with something so obvious, someone should be able to design a few tests to establish whether there is actual causation.
    psycros likes this.
  10. moobg

    moobg TS Rookie Posts: 20   +13

    Squid Surprise likes this.
  11. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,569   +1,548

    OK, be honest everyone... despite the fact that this paper has more holes than a piece of Swiss cheese, who didn't feel the back of their neck after reading it?
    learninmypc and moobg like this.
  12. moobg

    moobg TS Rookie Posts: 20   +13

    Lol. I admit that I did before I read the whole story.
  13. AndreV

    AndreV TS Rookie

    Its not the use itself of the phone, its the ****ing inclination of the head that make muscles, tendons and bone structure to grow for maintaining the head's weight.

    Intentional misleading title or just pure stupidity of the writer.

    "As heads tilt forward with eyes glued to mobile screens, weight shifts from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head. This causes bone spurs in the connecting tendons and ligaments and is similar to how the skin thickens into a callus in response to pressure or chafing. "The result is a hook or hornlike feature jutting out from the skill, just above the neck,"
  14. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,791   +2,610

    Almost everyone has a "bump" at the base of their skull at that exact spot. Its reasonable to hypothesize that strain on that area could be caused by PZS (Phone Zombie Syndrome) and I look forward to further research. Frankly I'm less concerned about young adults with weird growths on the surface of their skulls than I am with their lack of contents.
  15. hk2000

    hk2000 TS Booster Posts: 72   +30

    This is ridiculous, if anything, the 24/7 hooked on smartphones kids should be growing longer thumps, don't you think?
  16. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,388   +1,018

    I thought it was April Fool's day at first...
  17. mrtraver

    mrtraver TS Evangelist Posts: 428   +139

  18. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Addict Posts: 140   +57

    The many years as a factory worker sitting in front of a bench, looking down at my work, I should have foot long "horns". They should be prevalent among avid book readers, too. However, the study picks on young users of mobile devices which causes the crap-o-meter needle to hit the red zone.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,075   +4,083

    Actually, men are less susceptible to osteoporosis, (bone loss accompanying aging),than women. I believe the causality there is hormonal. A pronounced brow ridge, (cave man brow to a slight extent), is a secondary manifestation of sexual dimorphism in Homo sapiens. The male of our species has a heavier bone structure than the female. But the extent of that is dependent on genetics and hormones as well.

    But, mercifully I'm going, I'll dumb the rest of this down to the level of your original hypothesis.

    "I guess it's also fair to say, "everybody's development is different".

    Anecdotally, a girlfriend of mine, (very, very, smart, I might add). Was slightly lopsided in the bosom area.

    My observation was, that she carried all her school books on one side, for her entire childhood.. since this was in the year "30 BBP". Accordingly, that prevented her rib cage from being able to round out equally on both sides of her breastbone. (Young bones are soft and semi-pliable)).

    IMO, this isn't a joke, or a left over April Fool's Day prank, but something at least perhaps worth investigating further..

    Besides, this gives parents some ammunition to try and get their kidz off the cell phone. Sic: "put that damned thing down once in a while, do you want to start growing horns?

    (Of course, human nature being what it is, and parent-child relations being what they are, the kidz will talk on their phones longer than before, to try and grow horns so as to spite mom and dad).
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,075   +4,083

    In other news, the titles which are deemed "click bait", seem to induce more members to run their yaps incessantly in opinion, much more so than articles with more straightforward titles.

    (Unless of course, it's an article about AMD, at which point the perennial fan boys will put up 4 or 5 pages worth of drivel),

    (Well, unless of course the topic is "loot boxes", which coaxes the angry, disenfranchised, and embittered sore losers among us. to spew rivers of bile). :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  21. amoeba00

    amoeba00 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Can techspot please not post these clickbait articles? It just diminishes the quality of the site as a whole.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  22. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 582   +470

    This so called study has already been debunked. The study group was only made up of people who actively seeked help for existing neck issues due to various conditions and there was also no control group involved. The whole thing was blown out of proprtion by the tabloids as usual.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,512   +5,076

    Now we know what is taking place in the Tesla articles.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,075   +4,083

    And if they don't stop with the "click bait", what will you do, take your "business" elsewhere?

    I think they should give "rookies", an IQ test before they're allowed to join. That way, they'd be able to spot bogus topics like this, before they clicked on them!

    My feeling is, helping out in the trenches, giving assistance to people building computers, people with software issues, and so forth is what give "value" to the site. In fact, this is only one sub forum among more than a dozen.

    Another thing is that "clicks", are what support the site. They're democratic, a click counts whether or not you feel duped for making it. But, it follows in a sequitur manner, a click not made, detracts from the value of the site.

    But in fairness, I'm tagging the site owner and CEO @Julio Franco, and our staff moderator @mailpup to make them aware of your concerns.

    After all, veterans of Techspot who have served and worked here for decades, are liable to become complacent in its operation, and might need someone who joined two days ago, to rock the boat a bit, or "straighten the ship of state's course". (Take your pick of whichever metaphor you find most insulting, allow yourself to be made indignant by it).
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,075   +4,083

    Did you know the Nissan "Leaf", is the best selling all-electric vehicle on the planet? Somehow that doesn't even seem possible, since Elon Musk isn't Nissan's corporate spokesperson. Or could that be the very reason for it's success? :rolleyes:

    Have you bought your Tesla yet, or are you holding out until they get "Auto pilot" to a state where the car is fully autonomous? (**)

    If that's not the case, and you're still stuck driving one of those nasty ICE vehicles, it gives me pause to wonder why you participate in those Tesla / Musk threads with such a signature alacrity. After all, you should know by now, they're nothing, if not, "click bait".:p:laughing:

    (**) You could imagine someone desperately wanting a Tesla, and holding Musk in such high regard, could easily become "angry", with an iconoclastic figure such as myself in regards to Musk's motivation's, or "disenfranchised", due to failing to reach his or her goal of Tesla ownership. In a worst case scenario, those emotions could possibly turn inward, resulting in a bout of self loathing.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019

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