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That the left hand is used just as much as the right, though in a different way, is demonstrated by Dr Felix Regnault, who reported to the French Societe de Biologie recently on 6ome observations he had been making as to the relativo uses of the hands.

It is commonly supposed that the left hand works much less than the right. Dr Regnault says one does as much a 6 the other, pointing out that normal persons general!}' employ their left hands for the steady work of" holding things, and leave their" right hands free for action. Observation leads him to assert that such things as bundles, packages, and umbrellas are held more often in the left hand than in the right, and that women usually carry babies in their right arms- The man who habitually carries a stick or a cane swings it to and fro with his right hand. This man carries his umbrella in the same way, while he who is not in the habit of using a cane oarries his umbrella in his left hand, as it is to him a burden and not an habitual help. The left hand is normally used for simple, long-sustained efforts; the right for complex, brief actions. The work the left is called upon to do involves what may be called static muscular contractions, such as require steadiness and firmness; that of the right hand involves what may bo called dynamic muscular contractions, such as require numerous, varied, rapid actions. Most of the animals with prehensile forelegs are ambidextrous, for the reason that division of labor exists among them to only a slight degree. Mart is normally right-handed because division of labor is carried to its highest extent in his case. He therefore reserves one hand for delicate work and one for holding. He grasps an object with his left and manipulates it with his right. The left hand Mlds the chisel firm, the right hand wislds the mallet. The l«ft hand holds th« lor, the right nceres th« saw. Tk« isft ksad held* th« wstsh, tas right wi»ds it. The Uft hand h*l«s ih« Wis, tkv rijkt wield* ths «w«rd. In ltft-hani*i. jwsen* taps* func. ti«ns «f tht hands ar« rew#«d. Same physiologists hav« urged that children should be taught tn use either hand indifferently, that they should be made anibidßxtrous- Dr B«gnault holds that this would be a step backward, as it would be opposing their natural development, j and trying to break the law of division of labor." J

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Bibliographic details

USE OF THE HANDS., Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

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USE OF THE HANDS. Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

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