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New Study Shows Why You Shouldn't Wear a Tie

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene
 Ties serve little functional purpose, in fact, many, including Richard Branson, have described the suit and tie as an 'anachronism'. But few would think that such an item of clothing could actually damage your health. Scientists at Kiel University Hospital have recently described the act of wearing a tie as 'socially desirable strangulation' - as a study published in New Scientist investigated how ties affect blood flow to the brain, and the results weren't good. 
 
wearing a tie

In fact, results showed that wearing a tie results in a significant dip in blood flow to the brain. In the study, 15 men wearing ties and 15 men without were scanned using MRI to measure the blood flow to the head. Researchers found that the brains of people who wore ties were, on average, receiving 7.5% less 'cerebral blood flow' than the brains of those subjects within the control group. The scientists attributed the lower blood flow to the narrowing of the carotid arteries, which carry blood away from the heart due to the pressure of the tie. 

While a 7.5% reduction in blood flow may not seem substantial enough to cause noticeable health problems, people who suffer from other health issues do need to be cautious. This includes people who have high blood pressure, or if you are a pensioner or a smoker, as you could end up suffering from headaches, dizziness, and nausea if you wear a tie for too long.  

Studies have also shown that ties may raise the risk of glaucoma, cataracts and other injuries. In fact, in Kiel's study, they investigated the effects of ties on the head. According to research published in The British Journal of Ophthalmology, wearing a tie can restrict the blood flow through the jugular vein as well as through the carotid arteries. 

wearing a tie

Consequently, the restriction can end up causing a backup of blood along the system to the eye, raising eye pressure. This means that a raised intraocular eye pressure is considered a risk factor for glaucoma and cataracts. Thus, according to the study, it could possibly increase the risk of worsening existing glaucoma. 

Furthermore, you can even increase your risk of Musculoskeletal trauma just by wearing a tie. According to research by researchers at Yonsei University, those who wear ties often find their range of motion 'significantly decreased' when wearing a tight necktie, compared to without it. This may lead to certain muscles causing tension to accumulate in the upper trapezius and raising the risk of injuries. 

wearing a tie

But, what may be more worrying than spraining a muscle in the office is the fact that wearing a tie in a health-focused workplace could be putting others at potentially severe risk. In fact, in a study carried out by Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, it showed that among 42 male surgical clinicians at the New York Hospital, nearly half had managed to accrue infection-causing pathogens on their ties. 

According to Eyal Zimlichman, Daniel Henderson, and Orly Tamir, who carried out the study, they said that "Hospital-acquired infections account for a large proportion of high rates of morbidity, mortality, and costs. We estimated there are approximately 440,000 of these infections annually among US adult inpatients and that their annual costs are $9.8 billion." Therefore ties harboring pathogens could be making a serious contribution to an increasingly concerning healthcare issue. Perhaps it's high time we do away with ties altogether.

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