Marilyn Monroe once said, “I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.” But findings of an Australian research show that while they are divine things for some ladies, regular use may cost you your health.
It’s bad news for high heels fanatics as a study conducted by Australian researchers revealed that women who wear high heels on a regular basis walk in a way that uses more energy, even when not wearing them, in more forceful and shorter strides.
It doesn’t take a scientist to tell us how uncomfortable walking in high heels can be, but this research which has been published in the Journal of Applied Biology is a first one to study in depth the effects of wearing high heels on a regular basis.
My own personal experience with high heels was a nightmare as besides being poorly unstable in them, my feet unfortunately succumbed to nasty blisters. High heels are certainly not made for those who love to walk, I must say.
Getting back on topic, the research which was performed by scientists at Griffith University in Queensland involved nine women who wore heels regularly and the results were then compared to those from a control group consisting of ten women who rarely wore heels.
Electrodes were attached to the legs of these women to analyse their muscle activity. Those who had worn heels over 2 inch high for more than 40 hours per week for two years were made to walk over a plate that monitored the forces generated by their footsteps ten times with heels on and then a set of ten times without wearing the heels.
The results showed that in regular high heel wearers, the muscles in the feet became fixed in a flexed position where the toes are pointed even long after they stopped wearing heels.
Because of the flexed position of the foot, greater pressure is placed on the calves thereby shortening the fibres in the muscle.
Instead of the tendons, the strain of a heeled gait is on the muscles, thus making women who wear the towering heels use up more energy as they walk.
Flat shoe wearers, on the other hand, take longer strides and they use their tendons to walk rather than utilizing the calves unnecessarily.
Dr Neil J. Cronin who led the study said:
“In a person who wears heels most of her working week, the foot and leg positioning in heels becomes the new default position for the joints and the structure within.”
This is quite logical if you think about it. For instance, if you’ve been standing, walking and sitting with a poor posture, your bones will move out of alignment, shifting the balance of your body weight and placing unnecessary strain on your joints.
So, does this mean that you should stop wearing majestic ultra-high heels forever? Of course, not. Phew. Just keep it in moderation, ladies. Dr Cronin recommended high heel wearers to take a break from wearing heels once or twice a week to cut down the risk of strain injuries.
Your leg joints are precious and there’s no reason to be lax in taking care of those limbs that help you move. While the heels have certainly changed the way some ladies feel about themselves as they give the illusion of longer toned legs, it must be stated that confidence should flow out naturally with or without heels.
And if you just love to wear them because they are such pretty things, make sure you do not have to walk too much or run while you’re in them. Leave running in mighty killer high heels to the actresses in the movies and runaway models, why don’t we, yeah?
Fun Fact: Did you know that there was a time that wearing high heels was unlawful and could put you on the stake for witchcraft? A law was passed by the Massachusetts colony back during the Puritan times that forbade “virgins, maidens, or widows from seducing His Majesty’s male subjects by virtue of high heel shoes”.
© All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.
The PEOPLE’s Digest is a collection of articles by Miss Reverie that is written to raise awareness and as a call to action on matters vital for our existence as a species and to boost the spirit of a deeper human kinship that is particularly needed now more than ever. You may read more of her at REVERIE SANCTUARY.