Wearing a Tie Can Cut Off the Blood Supply to Your Brain

For some, neckties are an essential part of workwear. More than just an accessory, that smart strip of fabric can denote power and professionalism. In some jobs, it’s even mandatory.

But your tie might just be cutting off the blood supply to your brain.

Scientists already knew that a tie could compress the carotid artery and jugular veins in the neck. In a study published by the journal Neuroradiology, researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to assess the blood flow to the brain in 15 healthy barenecked men and 15 wearing a tie.

The team found the “socially desirable strangulation” reduced the blood flow in the brain by 7.5 percent on average, shortly after a tie was tightened.

This tight band around the neck squashes the veins in the neck and allows pressure to build in the skull, study author Robin Lüddecke from the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany told New Scientist. Increased pressure probably reduces blood flow through the vessels of the brain, he added.

11_7_Tie A man tightens his tie. Getty Images

A drop of 7.5 percent probably won’t cause problems for many tie-wearers, Steve Kassem at Neuroscience Research Australia in Sydney told the publication. But, he added, it might cause symptoms like nausea and headaches for smokers, the elderly or those with high blood pressure. According to the CDC, about 75 million people have high blood pressure in the U.S.

If you’re not ready to give up your assertive accessory just yet, Kassem said you could think about wearing it a little looser. However, if you’re going to wear a messy tie, you might be better off not wearing one at all. “I think there’s probably enough room for us now to say, ‘Alright, maybe we should stop wearing ties altogether,’” he told New Scientist.

After their study, the research team wants to focus their efforts on people like smokers and those with high blood pressure, to better understand the risks of wearing the traditional office attire day-to-day.

Shedding that tie isn’t the only way to look unprofessional at work. Back in 2016, an Iranian footballer was lambasted for wearing pants fit for Spongebob Squarepants. Just this month, critics recently lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after it emerged he had eschewed his shirt for a summer jog. Although his outfit was a hit for viewers of Canada's CTV News, others suspected the jog was a PR stunt to distract from resurfaced allegations of groping.

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