Published on December 16th, 2014 | by admin

Left-Handed Versus Right-Handed

Which hand do you write with at work? A recent study we’ve seen here at the Post Office Shop suggests that left-handers may be at a disadvantage to their right-handed counterparts to such an extent that it may even affect their career prospects.

In fact it is claimed that those who are left-handed may see their earning potential 12% less over their lifetime. This conclusion has been made following an in-depth study conducted amongst 47,000 people in the UK and US.

But how can this be the case you might ask simply because someone writes with their left hand instead of their right?

What we learn is that ‘lefties’ are in fact potentially disadvantaged in a number of ways in everyday life, all leading from the fact that left-handed individuals show consistently lower cognitive skills and higher rates of mental and behavioural disabilities.

The study conducted has shown that left-handed school children are in fact three percentage points more likely to be in the bottom tenth of exam scores than right-handers. There is even a suggestion that left-handers are more likely to have learning disabilities or dyslexia.

Notions that left-handers may be disadvantaged in everyday life are not new. In fact suggestions that the hand an individual writes with have been symbolic of cognitive behaviour have been mooted ever since the Middle Ages. Back then it was even suggested that left-handed writers were possessed by the Devil!

Intriguingly, the word ‘left’ itself is derived from Old English ‘lyft’ which means idle, weak or useless. In French too, there are similar connotations; the French word for left is ‘gauche’ which also means clumsy or awkward. There is also a train of thought that left-handers are more likely to have suffered trauma or stress in the womb.

It’s not all bad news though. As well as having a day each year called ‘Left-Handers Day’, those who write with their left hand are also catered for here at the Post Office Shop. Smudged handwriting is a common problem for lefties but thankfully there are pens ideally suited for left-handers such as the Stabilo Left Handed SmartBall Pen and Sharpie Black Fineliner Pens.

Conversely, an alternative perception of left-handed writers has been that they are actually more gifted than their right-handed counterparts. Interestingly, four of the last seven US Presidents, including Barack Obama, have been left-handed in support of this theory.

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