With just 10 percent of the population being left-handed, it can be easy for everyone else to forget we’re living in a right-handed world. But aside from making it tough to cut a straight line with a pair of scissors designed for righties, being a southpaw can also have some subtle effects on our physical and mental health. The brains and bodies of lefties may operate differently than those of right-handed people and in mixed-handed people, who may have different dominant hands for different tasks. Here’s a look at some of the most common facts about being left-handed, and what it might really mean for your health. It’s not just genetics Scientists aren’t exactly sure why some people are left-handed, but they know that genes are responsible about 25 percent of the time, says Yeo. Left-handedness does tend to run in families, he says, “but noticeably less than other inherited traits, like height or intelligence. There are plenty of theories on what else might determine which hand you write with, but many experts believe that it’s kind of random, says Yeo. It’s linked to stress in pregnancy In one British study, the fetuses of super-stressed pregnant women were more likely to touch their faces more with their left hands than their right.
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