When is International left handers day 2021? Date, famous left handed people, and fun facts about being left handed

Roughly 12% of the population are left handed

Are you left handed? (Photo: Shutterstock)
Are you left handed? (Photo: Shutterstock)

While day to day life is designed to the specifications of right handed people, from scissors to notebooks and tin openers, left handers can enjoy a day that celebrates all things to do with being left handed.

Now in its 30th official year, international left handers day 2021 is now upon us - this is what you need to know.

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When is International left-handers day and what is it?

International left handers day takes place annually on 13 August.

Founder of the Left-Handers International Inc, Dean R Campbell first observed the day back in 1976 in a bid to help raise awareness about the advantages, and disadvantages, that left handed people face.

The day was later declared an official celebration by the Left Handers Day Club on 13 August 1997.

The day gives left handed people the chance to show their pride about being left handed, and raise awareness about the everyday issues that they face in a world designed for right handed people.

Some people celebrate the day by turning their homes or workplaces into “Left Handed Zones”. These zones require that anyone within them only use their left hand, and highlight the struggles that left handed people face.

Many left handed people also take to Twitter to share posts using the hashtag #lefthandersday.

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Why are some people left handed?

Left handed people make up about 10 per cent of the population, and the reason for some people being left handed rather than right is still being studied to this day.

There are a variety of factors that determine whether someone is right handed or left handed, with research showing that left handedness is caused by a combination of genetics, biology and environment.

Research since the 1980s has shown that our preferences for either our right or left hand is most likely decided before we are both. From the 13th week in the womb, ultrasound screenings show that babies tend to favour sucking their right or left thumb.

A 2019 study, which was published in the journal Brain, found the differences in the DNA between left handed and right handed people.

Speaking to the BBC, Professor Gwenaëlle Douaud said that the study showed “for the first time that handedness has a genetic component”.

Who are some famous left handed people?

Here are some just to name a few:

- Barack Obama

- Justin Bieber

- Oprah Winfrey

- Tom Cruise

- Lady Gaga

- Bill Gates

- Lisa Kudrow

- Whoopi Goldberg

- Angelina Jolie

Of course you can’t forget Ned Flanders from the animated TV show The Simpsons - in season three, Flanders opened his very own Leftorium, selling merchandise and left-handed products for the south paws of Springfield.

What are some facts about left handed people?

Here are some interesting facts about left handers you can share on international left handers day 2021:

- Men are more likely than women to be left handed

- Left handed people are 11 times more likely to suffer from allergies

- Lefties tend to reach puberty four to five months later than right handers

- Data collected in 2008 by the Illinois Research Consortium found that left handers are better at multitasking

- Left handers actually have an advantage when it comes to sport, and are especially good tennis players, boxers and fencers. This is because opponents are used to facing off against fellow right handed people, and not lefties. Tennis champ Rafael Nadal actually switched to playing with his left hand to give himself an advantage

- A 2007 study found that creatives, such as painters and musicians, were more likely to be left handed

- Neurologists have reported that left handed people actually adjust to underwater vision faster than right handed swimmers