A recent study out of a local university has revealed that patients in dermatology clinic waiting rooms are extremely reluctant to touch the magazines sitting on the coffee table. The study, which analysed patient behaviour at health clinics all over the Australia, named dermatology clinics as the venue were visitors were least likely to thumb through a three-year-old copy of New Idea.

While the results are unlikely to shock many people, the study did also indicate that visitors to GP clinics were surprisingly open to the idea of touching printed materials that had also been touched by ill people. Lead researcher Grant Finley told The Watsonia Bugle, “Even with the higher proliferation of hand-held devices, people still seem keen to flick through old magazines. Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing? You know, going back to the days when everyone wasn’t glued to a smartphone.”

When we contacted an anonymous receptionist at a local dermatology clinic, she said they actually still had a tabloid magazine in their waiting room that features a happily married Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. She said, “It’s kind of an in joke. A bit of a social experiment. Not one patient has ever picked it up. It’s never been mentioned.”