National left handed day
Friday 13th August marks this years National Left Handed day, which celebrates the uniqueness of lefties. The celebration raises awareness for left handed people in a predominantly right handed world.
Some areas of the world also set up events for National Left Handed day where right handed people are encouraged to use their none dominant hand to complete tasks (including writing).
As a left handed person myself it’s interesting to see how other lefties cope with daily activities and how it affects the way we do things. I’ve known for a long time that us lefties were the minority but there are plenty more facts that I didn’t know! Read on below:
How Many Left Handed People Are There?
Left handers make up roughly 12% of the worlds population (as of 2021). It’s become more socially accepted to be left handed and the percentage of left handed people has crept up over the years.
Lefties are rare: the percentage of lefties was estimated to be only 2% in 1860. It’s also estimated that there would have been more than this at that time except it was not accepted to be left handed so they forced people to write using their right hand. This number rose to approximately 4% in 1920.
5 Interesting Facts About Left Handed People
1. Everyday tasks can be more difficult
Being left handed can be troublesome for everyday life (even from a young age). In school we learn various skills including how to use scissors and how to write etc. The tools that we learn to use are often aimed at right handed people and something as simple as using scissors can be a nightmare.
Left handed people find it more difficult to write as they smudge their writing with their hand (and often try to curl the writing hand up to avoid it).
2. Lots of famous celebrities are left handed
It may (or may not) come as a surprise to know that there are many celebrities who are left handed. Here are a few:
- Drew Barrymore
- Jim Carrey
- Morgan Freeman
- Brad Pitt
- Keanu Reeves
- Julia Roberts
3. Twins are more likely to be left handed
According to https://facts.net/nature/human-body/left-handed-facts/ twins are more likely to be left handed. They state that a study done in Belgium in 1996 showed that 21% of 1,700 pairs of twins were left handed. This is 5% higher than the amount of left handed people in the general population.
4. Some of the greatest sports people are left handed
In certain sports it can be advantageous to be left handed. In baseball for example it’s common to see athletes switching to being a “Southpaw” (left handed) early on in their career, to gain a competitive advantage. In a lot of sports players are accustomed to their competitors being right handed and being a lefty can certainly throw a spanner in the works.
Here are some great left handed sports people:
- Phil Mickelson (Golf)
- Randy Johnson (Baseball)
- Rafael Nadal (Tennis)
- Wayne Gretzky (Hockey)
5. Left handed people are more likely to be male
A study from 2008 which compiled data from 144 studies showed that 23% more men are left handed than women. The studies are based on a considerable sample size of 1,787,629 participants.
Does Being Left Handed Affect Repairing Watches?
As a fellow lefty I decided to ask our watch technician Tom how being left handed has affected the way he works with watches:
- Tom spoke about how there is no disadvantage to working with watches left handed. He said how he has to complete certain tasks slightly differently but explained that being left handed doesn’t affect the quality of his work.
- Tom mentioned that one of the main problems he had early on was removing the case backs from watches. The specialist case back knife used for the job only came in right handed. The case back knives have a special lip on one side which is necessary to remove the case back. Tom got around this by specially customizing his case knife. Thankfully this is no longer an issue as they are now available in left handed.
- The tools that we use in our workshop (including pressure testing machines and other devices) can be used with either hand and being left handed does not put you at a disadvantage.
We’d love to hear how being left handed has impacted your life. Comment below!