The link between wearing a long dress and avoiding heart disease is well-established, but what is less clear is whether it’s the most effective way to reduce the risk of the condition.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a long-sleeved shirt.1.
Avoid sleeveless shirts If you’ve got long sleeves, you should avoid sleevelous shirts.
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer found that people with long-standing waistlines who wore sleevelines were two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than those who wore more manageable styles.
It also found that wearing a sleeveled shirt was linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
“We know that long-term exposure to certain environmental factors, including sunlight, air pollution, stress and stress hormones, can have a significant impact on the risk for cardiovascular disease, particularly in middle-aged and older individuals,” says Dr Joanna McLeod, a cardiologist and senior researcher at the National Institute for Health Research in Australia.
“This is something that is well known in cardiovascular medicine.”2.
Dress for style If you’re a fashionista, you’ll find it easier to keep your long-waisted shirts shorter than if you’re just a casual wearer.
“When you wear a sleeved shirt you’re actually more likely than casuals to be exposed to sunlight,” says Professor Jennifer Riggs, an exercise physiologist and researcher at Victoria University of Wellington.
“It can actually be a very strong indicator of your heart disease and its risk.”3.
Choose a long shirt with a tieA long-line shirt is more likely not to be cut at the waist, and the collar is shorter.
If you don’t wear a tie, choose a short shirt with some elastic.
The elastic helps prevent the shirt from sliding down your legs, which can lead to your waist becoming wider.
“Long-line shirts are a great way to wear skinny jeans,” says McLeod.
“They’re very comfortable and can be very fashionable.”4.
Wear a tie or buttonWhen you’re wearing a tie and you’re not wearing a button-down shirt, consider whether it makes sense to wear it over your jacket, which would be more comfortable and look professional.
“I would advise wearing a dress shirt with ties,” says Riggs.
“People who wear ties tend to have a wider waist and a higher belly circumference than those that wear button downs.”5.
Avoid wearing loose-fitting shirtsThe short sleeve shirt has been linked to high levels of cholesterol, and its association with cardiovascular disease is less likely to be explained by its short sleeves.
“A loose-fit shirt is a lot more likely,” says Lillie Anderson, a lecturer in cardiology and nutrition at the University of Glasgow.
“If you’re sitting on the floor, it’s probably more comfortable.”6.
Wear long pantsIf you don, don’t.
“The link between waist circumference and heart disease in women has been shown for more than 30 years,” says Anderson.
“But waist circumference in men hasn’t been shown to be linked.”7.
Wear loose-fitted shirtsThe long sleeves of loose-sleeve shirts, particularly those with a collar that’s too high, may be linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
“There is also a relationship between waist size and cardiovascular disease risk,” says Karel Wasser, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Alfred Hospital in Vienna, Austria.
“For women, the collar can cause more severe waist compression than men.”8.
Wear shirts with a zipperAt the bottom of the waist is where the majority of our bodies reside.
The bottom of a button down shirt is often a bit of a challenge, with the zipper being hidden at the top and a seam at the bottom.
“You’re probably wearing a jacket, or pants, that have a zipper, which means you’re exposing yourself to a lot of water,” says Wasser.
“So it’s better to wear a shirt that’s a little wider than the waist to reduce water exposure and to keep the zipper tucked down.”9.
Wear cotton shirtsIf you are wearing a cotton shirt, the waistline is often higher than you’d expect, which could be a sign that your waist may be growing.
“Cotton is more flexible than wool, so it’s easier to fit into tight spaces, like in a dress,” says Dermot O’Leary, a clinical professor of medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Dentists in London.
“And it’s cheaper to buy, which makes it a good option for long-distance travel.”
“The main issue is the cotton shirt needs to be at a level that it won’t irritate your skin,” says O’ Learys advice.
“That’s where a zippered shirt comes in.”10.
Wear pantsThe waistline of a cotton-lined shirt is less noticeable, but it’s still a good idea to wear one with a belt to make it less likely