Men’s office attire may need an overhaul. New research shows that wearing a necktie restricts blood flow to the brain. This can cause health issues such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.
Robin Lüddecke and a team from the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, decided to examine the effect of wearing a necktie, or what’s labelled as “socially desirable strangulation.” Previous research had already proved that a necktie increases intraocular pressure, and compressing jugular veins and carotids causes adverse cerebrovascular effects.
The German researchers examined the brains of 15 healthy men before and after they donned a tie. They repeated the scans with a control group of 15 additional men, who didn’t wear ties. They found that the men who wore ties had an average decrease of 7.5 percent in blood flow. The control group had no decline. Fortunately, healthy men won’t experience much impairment by wearing a necktie. However, those who are older, smoke, have high blood pressure or have below-average blood flow from issues such as a blocked blood vessel, may be at risk.
Neckties have been around for centuries, going all the way back to the Qin dynasty in Ancient China. And while they’re a big symbol of professionalism, it may be time to ditch them for good. Several high-profile men such as Steve Jobs eschewed the fashion accessory.
During an interview with the Wall Street Journal in 2014, business mogul Richard Branson explained that he never wears ties: “I hate ties. I can’t understand how ties ever caught on. They’re constricting. I’ve never found anybody that enjoys wearing them. Men generally are made to wear one because their bosses had to, and they’re damned if the next generation is going to get away with not wearing one.”
What are some alternatives? The much looser ascot or cravat, a scarf, or even a collar chain. But if you are still interested in wearing ties despite the possible risks involved, check out The Tie Bar.