How Is Wearing Heels Bad for Your Body?

Some people collect stamps, others collect shoes.

Photo: Leonard Mc Lane/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Little girls are trained early to have a love for heels. It all starts with that moment of playing dress-up in mommy's wardrobe. Women covet their friends' heels and in turn adore sharing the rows and rows of shoes they have just as much as men share their collections of whatever exists in their man cave. But wearing heels as much as so many do is actually a bad thing. Your guilty pleasure can actually be horrible for your health. It can affect your posture, hurt your feet, cause backaches and even shorten your calf muscles.

Posture

Women wear heels to look taller, more confident and slimmer, but wearing heels is actually very damaging to your posture. When wearing heels, your hips and spine come out of alignment. The taller the heel, the more pressure is put on the front of your foot. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, when wearing 3-inch heels, the pressure on your forefoot can increase up to 76 percent. This is why you may not feel as comfortable wearing flat shoes. Your body has gotten used to walking on its toes.

Ugly Feet

Wearing heels constantly can make those precious feet look hideous, hence you need pedicures almost weekly. The pressure of the angle and height of heels can cause calluses, bunions and corns.

Damage and Pain

Dr. Charlotte Hawkins, a specialist in biomechanics and gait (which means the manner of walking), told "NY" magazine that prolonged wearing of heels can also cause degeneration of joint function. You don't want your joints feeling like they are 80 when you're only 30. Your high heels can also impair your balance, which leads to ankle sprains and breaks a lot easier than if you were wearing flats. A study in Lancet found that knee joint pain increased by 26 percent in women who wore heels.

Shortened Calf Muscles

Hawkins also said having the heel continually raised shortens the calf muscle. Researchers found that your calf muscles actually contract and adjust to the angle of your heels. They say this doesn't have to prevent you from ever wearing high heels. Just make sure you stretch your legs out and give your legs a break now and again. Sometimes you have to put the stilettos back in the closet.

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