Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Cell Phone Users Give Whole New Meaning to the Word “Bonehead”

If you spend too many hours a day using a cell phone, you’re in for a delightful surprise: you’re going to grow an external occipital protuberance.
Say what?

In easy words, it’s a bone growth found at the lower back of the skull, just above the neck. No way, you say, as you reach up to check the base of your skull, could I have something like that just growing out of my head.

Yes way, it’s pure biomechanics. 

Say what?

Biomechanics is a fancy word for the study of how muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to create movement.

External occipital protuberance, biomechanics, are you still with me? If so, picture a person using a cell phone. Or look over yonder at the photo I added.    

Notice the tilted head.

That’s the problem. People aren’t designed to spend hours with their heads like that. 

Remember when you were born and you couldn’t even lift your head because it was So. Darn. Heavy?

Well, it didn’t get lighter, your muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments worked together to become strong enough to lift that heavy ole head off the crib mattress. This doesn’t happen over night, you were about six months old before you had the strength and control to keep your head from lolling around unexpectedly.

Human skulls are not lightweight, on average they weigh about as much as our favorite summer treat: a large watermelon. Zombie beheadings aside, skulls aren’t meant to reside anywhere except balanced neatly on top of the spine with said spine straight as a poker, not hunched over a phone. Which is why parents are always yelling at their kids to straighten up and stop slouching!

Now, take another gander at that photo. Take one heavy head, thrust it forward for hours on end and guess what. The body deals with the heavy drag by adding extra bone at the skull. Or as the doctors like to call it: an external occipital protuberance.

I’m just letting folks know about this. I’m way far away from the 18-30 year old age bracket that has one in four people sporting an external occipital protuberance. Or a big ole bony knot at the base of their skulls. A knot more noticeable on bald headed males than long haired females.

But I admit I’m curious. Will the babies of those persons who sport this new appendage arrive with one? Will these babies be able to stare at cell phones hours on end with no problem? Then again, how will that knot affect this new born’s ability to ever lift his or her heavy head? Now it’s going to be even heavier. Will they be a year old before they can lift their heads?

I have to admit I love my cell phone and the convenience it has brought to my life, but since I’m not glued to it 24-7, I’m not too worried about growing a knot. At my age, it’s much better to watch where you’re going when one wrong step could break a vital bone.

And watching where you’re going, which many cell phone users forget to do while walking in crosswalks, grocery parking lots, etc. may well spell doom for the rabid user. They may never make it to parenthood and be able to pass on the gene for external occipital protuberance.

If you think I’m making this up. Check out this website.

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