June 20, 2019

"Horns are growing on young people’s skulls. Phone use is to blame, research suggests."

A WaPo headline.

Yeah, it got me.

Horns! Are phones the Devil's device?!
New research in biomechanics suggests that young people are developing hornlike spikes at the back of their skulls — bone spurs caused by the forward tilt of the head, which shifts weight from the spine to the muscles at the back of the head, causing bone growth in the connecting tendons and ligaments. The weight transfer that causes the buildup can be compared to the way the skin thickens into a callus as a response to pressure or abrasion. The result is a hook or hornlike feature jutting out from the skull, just above the neck....
It's not the phone. It's the bowed head. We're bowing, but not in prayer. And we're growing horns. Think about it, people!
That the bone growth ["enlarged external occipital protuberance"] develops over a long period of time suggests that sustained improvement in posture can stop it short and even ward off its associated effects....

[David Shahar, the paper’s first author, a chiropractor who recently completed a PhD in biomechanics] is pressing people to become as regimented about posture as they became about dental hygiene in the 1970s, when personal care came to involve brushing and flossing every day. Schools should teach simple posture strategies, he said. Everyone who uses technology during the day should get used to recalibrating their posture at night.
Hey, I remember when there was a lot of chiding and instruction about posture... back in the 1950s:



ADDED: I was surprised to see I had a tag for "posture" — and there are a lot of posts.

38 comments:

Bill Peschel said...

And good posture is mocked in the '90s by MST3K

https://youtu.be/dDjBsOkidek

Watching these now, I'm caught by all the anti-white jokes, which were funny then, but not so funny now. Dave Barry did the same kind of jokes during his heyday.

I've been thinking about how the culture has all of these currents bubbling underneath that suddenly break through to be the New Thing, then subside back into the mix. Like how you can see modernist ways of writing in Tristam Shandy, and even stream-of-consciousness writing by an author (whose name I've forgotten) before Joyce and others popularized it.


Fernandistein said...

"Occipital spurs, also called as occipital knob, occipital bun, chignon or inion hook, is an exaggerated external occipital protuberance (EOP). It is frequently discussed in anthropological literature as a Neanderthal trait but hardly reported and considered as a normal variant in medical literature."

MayBee said...

Huh. It's about the same neck posture you get writing or reading, right? I don't remember reading about the horns from bookworms (which is also an activity that involves no exercise that still gets a ton of encouragement!)

CJinPA said...

Hey, I remember when there was a lot of chiding and instruction about posture... back in the 1950s

Anyone born in the 1960s & on only remembers these films used by TV and film to mock the 50s. It's a tired take that advertisers still use today to get everyone to say in unison: "Conformity is bad."

I assume some day they'll be mocking the public service announcements to come on preventing neck horns.

Temujin said...

Started up Pilates. Supposedly to help my body be more limber, improve balance, stretching/lengthening, and...posture. I do notice the difference after a month. I do tend to keep myself more upright. I do notice I'm more conscious of my posture from this class. I also notice I'm the only man in Pilates. That's not a bad thing.

Its not a mystery that we're all bowed-headed. Look around you in the street, at a restaurant. Everyone has their heads down, looking at a screen. Future generations will have hooks on the back of their heads to hang their various implant plugs. Or just a hat rack. Or a better place to keep their sunglasses than hanging from the front of their shirt.

gilbar said...

okay, BUT they're talking about hornS growing on PEOPLE
They're NOT talking about hornS growing on a PERSON
One Person, one horn; Right?

One Person, one horn... Our kids are BECOMING UNICORNS!
Wake UP Sheepeople!

tcrosse said...

Add that to Taco Neck and you've got a real problem.

Bob Boyd said...

I hope they aren't growing racist bone spurs.

wildswan said...

I guess the Phone-bone could evolve into a Taco-neck head-rest

EDH said...

That the bone growth ["enlarged external occipital protuberance"] ...

Perhaps Gorilla Monsoon's favorite highfalutin medical term that he would invoke as a professional wrestling commentator.

Notice how the other commentator says, "And in the head he caught him too".

Gorilla: "Yeah, in the back. Yeah"

EDH said...

That other commentator was Rowdy Roddy Piper.

WK said...

Fernandistein said...
"Occipital spurs, also called as occipital knob, occipital bun, chignon or inion hook, is an exaggerated external occipital protuberance (EOP). It is frequently discussed in anthropological literature as a Neanderthal trait but hardly reported and considered as a normal variant in medical literature”.

Unfortunately no fossil record of smart phone use by the Neanderthals. Would be good for an episode if someone decides to remake “It’s About Time”.

Ann Althouse said...

"Started up Pilates. Supposedly to help my body be more limber, improve balance, stretching/lengthening, and...posture. I do notice the difference after a month. I do tend to keep myself more upright. I do notice I'm more conscious of my posture from this class. I also notice I'm the only man in Pilates. That's not a bad thing."

I've been doing Pilates (a 1-hour private lesson each week) for the last year. Highly recommended!

I don't know what the classes are like, but I love the one-on-one instruction.

tcrosse said...

Fonebone is watching You

Ann Althouse said...

I do most of my screen time with a desktop screen... and I use a motorized sit-stand desk. I'm not looking down into the screen. When I'm using the phone to read, it's usually while walking with an audiobook.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, maybe the enlarged external occipital protuberance is the racist bone Joe Biden doesn't have in his body.

GingerBeer said...

The Sisters who educated me in grade school had a simple solution to "slouching." They simply slipped a yardstick down the back of your collared with a tie. Problem solved.

0_0 said...

Chiropractor?
Opinion discarded.

gilbar said...

EDH said...
That other commentator was Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Actor.
fify!

May GOD rest his soul (April 17, 1954 – July 31, 2015)
"I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubble gum.

Swede said...

I have a hump growing where my flat stomach used to be.

While I'm generally pretty active, it's nothing like I was just a few short years ago.

I'm staff now, and sit in front of a computer with 2 screens. I take most of my meals in front of them. Most of my activity consists of me going short distances to talk to other staff.

Days start earlier and end later. Gym time is the easiest to cut when deadlines are looming.

I would say that technology has made us many times more efficient and productive. Output is much greater. But now, so are the demands.

No horns yet, though.

Karen said...

Suggested reading: The Slouching Superhero by Aaron Parnell

traditionalguy said...

Jordan Peterson's first Rule For Life: Stand up straight with your shoulders back.

gspencer said...

But do they look like this guy,

https://keyassets-p2.timeincuk.net/wp/prod/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2016/12/rexfeatures_1441328a-630x481.jpg

n.n said...

Horns, maybe. Hunchbacks, certainly. Don't kneel. Stand upright. Oh, and lift with your legs, not your back.

Sam L. said...

It's just the WaPoo being the WaPoo. Triggers my "DISTRUST" button every time!

Caligula said...

"Phone posture" is a temporary problem. It will become irrelevant when phone screens are replaced with direct phone-to-brain implants.

roesch/voltaire said...

So all that phone talk is making teens horney?

PM said...

Once you only got on the horn. Now you're getting one. Climate Change!!!

Yancey Ward said...

Smart phones are a plague at my gym. Increasingly, you find people on the equipment not working out, but sitting there on their smart phones for 15-20 minutes at a time.

tcrosse said...

To use the phone or not? It's the dilemma of the horns.

RobinGoodfellow said...

Good posture is a tool of the patriarchy.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

I spent many, many hours of my childhood looking down at a book. Why don't I have a horny growth like that? What makes using a cellphone different?

Fen said...

Horns eh? What's next? Cloven hooves?

People are going to look back at us like the idiots of the 50s who painted their teeth with radioactive material to glow in the dark for Halloween.

"Not only did the electro-magnetism alter their brain chemistry, they held it up near their head almost 24/7"

Mark Daniels said...

The name of the character in the educational film is one I don't ever recalling reading or hearing. I tried various possible spellings on Google and usually came up with links to articles or dictionary entries for "adrenaline."

Mark Daniels said...

By the way, this is another Young America educational film by Centron. While I don't remember seeing either of these when I was growing up, I saw many of the same nature of many boring, poorly-acted films I did see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNwvS-u4npU

Mark Daniels said...

It was because of the usual boring educational films that 'Hemo the Magnificent' stood out. It was produced by Frank Capra and starring Richard Carlson ('All Abut Eve') and Sterling Holloway ('Remember the Night'), along with Mel Blanc and June Foray in the animated portions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08QDu2pGtkc

Mark Daniels said...

An none of us who grew up in Ohio in the '60s can ever forget 'Signal 30,' a film produced by the Ohio Highway Patrol, narrated by WBNS (Columbus) news anchor Wayne Byers. (Byers would also narrate a documentary about John Glenn's childhood years in New Concord, Ohio, immediately after his Mercury three-orbit space flight.) 'Signal 30' is how a traffic fatality was designated. The film was designed to scare the snot out of us as we prepared to get our driver's licenses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VKOoenqbOk

Joanne Jacobs said...

I remember "Hemo the Magnificent!" And "Signal 30!" I think there was a second one called, "Death on the Highway."

I think there were three GE-affiliated science movies that were excellent. Was one of them "Our Mr. Sun?" I remember animation about chlorophyll.

We saw quite a few movies in our ninth-grade Health class (really, Vice). I remember one urging us not to become a heroin addict and several about the horror of VD. We were told that teens have sex because of peer pressure. Apparently, nobody really wants to do it. But, if you get VD, you should not commit suicide.