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High Heels Strain Muscle And Alter Womens Gait

High Heels Strain Muscle And Alter Womens Gait

Study shows the effects of high heels on the muscles and a woman’s gait…

Many women choose to wear high heels to accentuate their legs and exaggerate their height, but a new study shows that looking good wearing heels comes at a cost; it changes the shape of the leg muscles and as well as the mechanics of how women walk.

The study offers a scientific explanation as to why wearing high-heels can be painful. Researcher Neil Cronin, PhD, of the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, and colleagues who conducted the study wrote:

“This represents a potential injury risk, and may partly explain the fact that high-heeled shoes are often associated with discomfort and muscle fatigue.”

To analyze the affects of wearing high heels, the researchers looked at 9 women who wore high heels for more than 40 hours a week for at least two years, and 10 women who rarely wore high heels.

Electrode were attached to the women’s feet and leg muscles, then they were asked to walk at their normal pace down a 26ft walkway equipped with cameras and pressure gauges on the floor.

Both groups walked the aisle 10 times in their bare feet, then the high heels wearers were asked to walk another 10 times wearing their favorite high heels.

Analyzing the data showed that that the women who wore high heels had shorter strides, and exerted more energy from their muscles instead of using a more efficient combination of tendon and muscle stretching utilized by the women who typically wore flat sole shoes.

The researchers found that walking on flex toes for extended periods of time appear to shorten the calf muscles, and put them under more strain. Muscle strain was reported as being 6 times greater than in other women. Further more theses change in gait was also apparent even when the high heel wearers walked barefoot.

Research warn that these types of adaptions from wearing posture altering shoes like high heels could compromise the muscles and increase the risk of injury.

The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

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