Young people are observed to have hornlike growth on their skulls. A new research points at the role of mobile phones in altering our skeletons. Prolonged use of phones is causing weight to shift from the spine to the back of the skull. This shift in weight is estimated to be the cause of the bone spurs. These protruding structures are called as enthesophytes.
The study is done by a team of two researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. The research argues that the increasing trend of young people bending over at their phone screens is causing the anomaly in the human skeleton. The study is the first of its kind as it identifies for the first time the impact of technology on our physiological system.
These bumps can grow up to 3 to 5 millimeters in length. The researchers, however, took into account only the bumps that measured about 10 millimeters. The researchers examined various X-rays of the neck for their study. The research examined 218 such X-rays of people from the age group 18-30 years for one of its papers. Around 41% of those who showed signs of these bumps were young adults. The study also found men with a higher chance of developing the bumps.
David Shahar, the paper’s first author, said that the malformation can cause serious pain in the neck and upper back. The bump can also cause chronic headaches. Shahar in the paper said, “People are more sedentary; they put their head forward, to look at their devices. That requires an adaptive process to spread the load.” The extra growth of these bone-like features is similar to our skin developing callosity due to continuous pressure. The effect is known as the ‘enlarged external occipital protuberance’ takes a long time to develop. This suggests that adjusting our posture while using such objects can prevent the effect from taking place.
John is the Editor-in-Chief of Report Herald. He has an experience of 13 years in the journalism field. John writes on Science and Technology news for Report Herald.