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Researchers Say Mobile Phone Use Is Changing The Shape Of Our Skulls

Researchers Say Mobile Phone Use Is Changing The Shape Of Our Skulls

Everyone knows that using your phone too much isn't good for your health. It can affect your sleep and even your mental health, but scientists have discovered that it could also be changing the shape of our skulls.

X-ray images released by Australian researchers show that because of the way we are constantly hunched over our phones, skulls have developed an extra bony growth.

According to the study, increasing numbers of people - especially young people - have growths called enlarged external occipital protuberances (EOP), which sit at the bottom of the skull.

The growths were seen as rare when they were first discovered in the 1800s, but apparently now we may be able to actually feel the bones, and even see them on bald people. Weird.

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The scan of a 28-year-old's skull shows the extra lump. Credit: Nature Scientific Report
The scan of a 28-year-old's skull shows the extra lump. Credit: Nature Scientific Report

Most common among people aged between 18 and 30 years old, the lumps are said to be specifically caused by the way we look down at phones and laptop screens.

Scientists from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, have done huge amounts of research into the pretty strange phenomenon.

After scanning more than a thousand skulls of people ranging in age from 18 to 86, Dr David Shahar of the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, says the change can be caused by the extra strain on parts of the body that aren't usually used.

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The 58-year-old's skull doesn't have the extra lump. Credit: Nature Scientific Report
The 58-year-old's skull doesn't have the extra lump. Credit: Nature Scientific Report

Dr Shahar and colleagues said in their study that 'repetitive and sustained mechanical load' leads to adaptation of the tendons and connective tissues.

They wrote: "The development of [enlarged] EOP may be attributed to, and explained by, the extensive use of screen-based activities by individuals of all ages, including children, and the associated poor posture.

"Musculoskeletal disorders related to poor posture while using computers and tablets have been investigated extensively and were identified as a risk factor for the development of related symptoms at the neck, shoulders and forearms."

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Dr Shahar also said that although the bony lumps will probably not cause any damaging effects themselves, they may never go away - so you could be stuck with them.

He added: "I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly I have been discovering that my patients have this growth on the skull."

Featured Image Credit: Nature Scientific Report

Topics: World News

Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into PR and then the world of music. After a few years working on festivals and events, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]