Worried about phone bone? Don't be.

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There’s no need to worry about degenerate bone growth from using a phone. Seriously.

Before I spend the next decade seeing clients with concerns about "phone bones," I just want to reassure you that you can keep using your devices without growing devil horns out the back of your head. Your kids can too.

In case you missed it, a new "study" is going around that claims degenerate posture is causing our society's skulls to develop strange growths in frightening numbers. (You might have seen the Washington Post article with a scary x-ray photo and an ominous measurement line.)

Now, I'll be the first to argue that posture is important and that we should be helping ourselves and our kids to find healthy movement -- but not because we need to be worried about growing horns!

Posture isn't important because we turn into hobgoblins without it. It's important because we live in our bodies, and that should feel pleasurable, easeful, and healthy.

In past years working in anthropology, I worked with a ton of skulls, and I can tell you that the "horn" (technically, an external occipital protuberance) discussed is a normal part of human variation. Men are something like five times as likely to have one, and men aren’t five times more likely to have neck/head problems. I have one!

It has nothing to do with neck or any other sort of pain. Not to get too technical, but the study itself is being called into question-- but even if it's accurate, it admits there's no clinical significance at all.

Actually, the fact that bones are alive and adapt to the life we live is a testament to how strong our bodies are. It’s not a threat to healthy living.

So let's not worry about phone bones and horns, okay?

Washington Post Original

If you want to learn more about the science, Dr. Kristina Killgrove has written a great analysis here.

If you want to learn how to use your cell phone more ergonomically and pleasurably, I've written some tips here (but don't worry about it if you're happy with how you use your screen!)