The world’s steadily growing population has reached and exceeded 7.7 billion people.
According to several studies, it’s possible to estimate the world’s left-handed population at 10.6 percent, or nearly 800 million people who use their left hand to perform every daily activity, from writing to brushing their teeth, from typing numbers on their smartphones to working.
The percentages, though, vary widely by geographic area. Indeed, in Northern Europe and, more specifically, in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands, a higher number of left-handed people it’s found than the world average, while significantly lower percentages are recorded in Southeast Asia, mainly in India, China and Japan.
Certainly, the historical and social situation in which a person is brought up influences the preference for the use of the left hand.
Suffice it to know that in the late 1800s, when this custom was not accepted, only 2 percent of the population in Australia was left-handed, while in the present day the percentage has stabilized at well over 10 percent.
The same is also true in other parts of the world, where children were forced to use their right hand.
It’s been assessed that the fetus “chooses” whether to be right- or left-handed as early as the 12th week of gestation. All in all, left-handed people are not only born like that but develop this characteristic in the womb.
Compared to right-handed people, who find the left hemisphere to be the dominant part of the brain, for left-handed people, the right hemisphere is the dominant one, responsible for creativity and emotions. This is why we find so many left-handed people among actors, sportsmen, and artists, in a significantly higher percentage than in other occupations.
When we talk about right-handed or left-handed people, the hand used in school to hold a pen and write immediately comes to mind, but there are indeed many situations in which left-handed people have to use different tools in everyday life.
Among sportsmen, for example, the use of the left hand or foot has always helped to excel, if only as a matter of unpredictability compared to a right-handed opponent.
Indeed, left-handers, in a world of right-handers, become accustomed to using both hands immediately, almost always having to deal with equipment dedicated primarily to those who use their right hand more frequently.
However, over time, more and more tools dedicated to left-handed people have been created, such as left-handed scissors, which have an inverted cutting section as opposed to right-handed scissors, which, if simply used in reverse, would not cut but only fold paper.
There are also many dedicated instruments in the musical field. For example, it’s true that the guitar, which involves the use of both hands (the left hand on the neck and the right hand playing the strings), can be used “backward,” reversing the strings, thus going from the lowest note to the highest note at the opposite situation.
However, in that case, the musical performance would be far from optimal. This is because the spud box is built in such a way as to have optimal acoustics in the original version.
Therefore, one should prefer a dedicated left-handed guitar, especially if looking for sound quality.
Was Leonardo da Vinci left-handed?
Even the one who was perhaps one of the greatest historic cultural figures ever, namely Leonardo da Vinci, was initially considered a left-handed person who was re-educated in the use of his right hand so that he became ambidextrous, thus able to create, paint and write with his left hand.
Analyzing his mirror-readable writing, it’s possible to retrace the writing dogmas of every right-handed person, who ends up “pulling” the pen toward his strong hand, unlike left-handed people who “push” it; it seems more likely that, due to an accident that had impaired the use of his right hand, Leonardo continued writing with his left hand, while retaining the very form of his other hand, making his writings “inverted”, thus readable only in a mirror.
Left-handed people in today’s world
Nowadays, of course, there are no longer any medical, religious or social impositions that prohibit left-handed people from using the so-called “strong hand.”
There are even days dedicated to left-handed people, where the advantages of using the left hand are highlighted and networking is encouraged.
The development of production dedicated to them has led to the creation and use of a variety of tools, which have ensured that even in situations where precision becomes necessary, there are no limits for left-handed people.
Left-handers and dedicated solutions in the medical field
Even in the dental field and, more generally, in the medical field, it is absolutely strategic for the operator to have equipment that can adapt to his/her strong hand.
As we said above, there are dedicated left-handed tools on the market today, but they are not always the best solution.
After years of research, the solution proposed by Tecnodent was to build perfectly symmetrical dental and medical chairs, as well as stools with convertible backrests that can, therefore, adapt to the ergonomics of use of both right- and left-handed professionals.
We have already talked in this article about how our company’s research has been focused on finding solutions that can offer high quality and, at the same time, performing products to both right-handed and left-handed customers, regardless of their strong hand.
This strategic choice is mainly related to two factors: first, in the case of a dentist’s office where several operators have to use the same equipment or workstation, there will be no problems with ergonomics. Second, in the event that a fully equipped practice or just the equipment is sold, it can be purchased and used without any operational limitations whatsoever, getting a new possibility of use.
At a time when the world’s production focus is heading more and more toward waste elimination, even the possibility of being able to save raw materials and energy by providing a top-quality, single and flexible product that can be a dual solution for right- and left-handed people becomes a conscious choice not only in financial but also in ethical terms.