Healthy Living

Right-handed vs. Left-handed People: Strange Facts and Health Risks

Lefthandedness is Linked to Stress in Pregnancy

In a recent British study, it was found that children are more likely to be left handed when they are the result of a stressful pregnancy.  In 2008, a Swedish study found that mothers who were depressed, older at conception, or had children with low birth weight- were also more prone to have children that are lefties.  Some children will show a hand preference as early as in the womb during ultrasounds, while others will start to choose a dominant hand after one year.

Lefties have come a long way since they were thought to be possessed by the Devil during the Middle Ages, but should left-handed people worry about increased and peculiar health risks throughout their lifetime, just because they're left-handed? 

A few statistics about lefties and righties

  • Most people are right-handed. It is estimated that only 10% of the world is dominantly left-handed. This does not include people who are mixed-handed.
  • Handedness is somewhat genetic. But the genetics surrounding handedness are extremely complex, and scientists have still not been able to come to a conclusion.
  • Most left-handed people are men. It's estimated that 23% more men than women are left-handed, according to a study analysis of almost 2,000,000 people. 
  • Right-handed people might make more money. Research on this subject isn't definitive, but some studies suggest lefties earn 6% less than righties on an annual basis. But is this due to career choice? Researchers haven't nailed this one down yet.
  • International Left-Handers Day is on August 13th every year. Lefties, get ready to celebrate!

The associated risks of being left-handed

Sure, lefties are more creative, better visual thinkers, and better architects--but is being left-handed all it's cracked up to be? 

Here are some strange facts and risks associated with lefties and righties. 

Left-handed kids do worse in school

In a 2009 study, left-handed kids were found to perform worse in several areas, including writing, social development, and vocabulary. And--ambidextrous kids performed even worse! Some experts even suggest that mixed-handed and left-handed kids are at a higher risk for developing learning disabilities, since their brains are utilized differently. But, does handedness cause learning disability development or vice versa? Scientists and researchers are not too sure yet, but research is ongoing.

Read on to learn more.