During these summer months, office workers will curse the day it was decided they all had to lumber around in hot, restricting suits. But there might be a more valid reason besides sweat to finally do away with the classic suit-and-tie combo.
We've talked before how science seems hellbent on proving that workplace environments are just an overly long slog through a morass of incompetence. But this latest finding seems to divert the onus of having mush for brains away from the suits and onto the ... suits. Or the neckties, to be specific. As we all know, the neck is the vital yet rickety bridge between your head and the rest of your body, transporting precious blood upwards (and precious nachos downwards). And it turns out that when you tie a tie around all those delicate veins, they get restricted. The clue was in the name, really.
In a study published in Neuroradiology, German doctors conducted a study on the effects of wearing restrictive neckties on the blood flow in the brain. The study recruited 30 healthy young men and put them into two groups. One group had to wear a tightly tied tie, while the other served as a control group chilling in open-collared shirts like a bunch of common drug kingpins. Through MRI scanning, the researchers noticed that, on average, wearing a buttoned-up shirt with a tie reduced the amount of blood going to the brain by a staggering 7.5 percent. Even more jarring, after the subjects got to pop their top buttons and loosen their ties, their blood flow still kept declining by as much as 12.8 percent. So even that cool "I just got off work" look you sport during after-hour drinks isn't helping you sound any smarter.
Strangely, whatever damage ties cause doesn't occur in the neck itself, as no change was found in the jugular flow, only the noggin flow. The study posits that this is because an increase in pressure might be hindering outflow. Of course, much more expansive research is required to determine if this corporate strangulation truly has any actual negative effects on the body, though there are already quite a few other studies on the (uncontroversial) theory that the brain's access to oxygenated blood can have an impact on its reasoning skills and general intelligence. So just to be on the safe side, try to convince your boss to extend Casual Friday indefinitely -- for science.If you're looking for more fun ways to damage your brain, you can always follow Cedric on Twitter.
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