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Hohenstein study on tight collar & ties on behavior
28
Mar '13
Ties are more than just part of the dress code. In the traditional business world they represent success, performance and principles. On a hot day, however, quite a few business men will curse this uncomfortable etiquette. Just getting the knot right can be quite a trial for many men, but now there is even more bad news: Having the knot much too tight can lower performance in the workplace!
 
Studies have found that up to 80 % of tie wearers fasten the knot too tightly, causing the loop to press on the sensitive efferent blood vessels in the neck. This in turn can cause increased pressure inside the skull which affects the well-being as well as the mental performance of the person wearing the tie. Another effect can be increased intraocular pressure which can result in glaucoma (Jonas JB, British J. Ophtalmol. 2005). Particularly on hot days and in heated, poorly ventilated rooms, the effects of a tight-fitting shirt collar in combination with a tie that is fastened too tightly can be fatal.
 
In a pilot study, a team of scientists under Prof Dr Dirk Höfer and Dr Timo Hammer from the Hohenstein Institute in Bönnigheim/Germany have now found clear indications that an overly tight tie can negatively influence a person's attention. At a pressure of 40-60 mmHg between skin and shirt collar, the concentration of the test subjects decreased by up to 70 % within one hour. This even led to an 85% increase in the error rate for solving computer-aided reaction and coordination tasks. At the same time, skin conductivity – a subconscious stress parameter – increased by over 25 %. 
 
‘Our psycho-physiological examination methods detect the exact effects of poorly chosen clothing on humans by using their subconscious physiological reactions,’ says Dr Timo Hammer. He therefore calls for tie wearers to become more relaxed: ‘One can have an enormous store of knowledge, be in a position of authority, and have a degree and a doctorate – all that is not much help. Men also have to know how and particularly how tightly to knot their ties.’
 

Hohenstein Institute

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