Fashion hazards: Six-inch heels, heavy handbags can take a toll on your health

  • IANS, London
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2014 14:00 IST

Six-inch stilettos, over-sized heavy handbags or toothpick-tight jeans may be trendy, but have you ever thought what all health side-effects they are having on your body?

Certain fashion trends can take a toll of your health if you don't take steps to correct them, reports

Bigger isn't always better
Is your over-sized handbag causing back pain? Heavy handbags, computer bags- even dog carriers with a 10-pound pooch inside can cause back pain. Inside a typical handbag, you may find a phone, iPad, wallet, makeup bag, a bottle of water, book or magazine- maybe an extra pair of shoes. They seem like little things but they add weight, up to 10 pounds, and carrying all that weight can cause shoulder and neck pain.

When it comes to fashion, putting extra weight on one side of your body is one of the biggest neck and back pain causes. Any time you carry weight on one side of your body for an extended period of time, it causes your spine to curve, and that leads to back pain symptoms. So what can you do? Try to aim for symmetry. Choose a bag that you can wear diagonally across your body rather than a single-strap bag that rests on one shoulder. When you can't avoid using a single-strap bag, be conscious of changing the sides you use to carry it.

That stylish backpack you bought your child can be a pain in their neck and shoulder
Let's face it; kids want to be fashionable and trendy too. In these days of iPads and laptops, online learning and e-books, it seems like a backpack would be unnecessary. But kids are still loaded down with traditional books, as well as notebooks, binders, folders and calculators. It all adds up and tips the scale in an unhealthy direction. Unfortunately, most kids are wearing backpacks that are too heavy for them. As a father of two, I'm all too familiar with the problem. A child's backpack should weigh no more than about 15% to 20% of his or her body weight. If a child starts complaining about neck, back or shoulder pain, parents should look at the backpack first.

Your killer heels may be killing much more than you think
High-end fashion designers are synonymous with today's most sought after styles including sky high pumps and heels. However, the pain you feel while walking in your six-inch heels is a symptom of the potential damage stylish footwear may be causing to your body; including your back and neck. The structure of the foot is not meant to be crammed in the shoe that way. It puts the body in a very unnatural position. Try giving your feet a break with flats or running shoes in between- especially if walking to work.

Less is more: wallets are causing men pain
Millions of men drive with their wallet in their back pocket and sit on them at their desk at work. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst things you can do for your back. Back pain and sciatica is often caused by sitting on a thick and heavy wallet that throws your pelvic balance off triggering chronic pain in your back, hips and shoulders.Eventually, you may compress the sciatic nerve- it runs from each side of the spine down through the back of each thigh to the foot- and cause sciatica, searing leg pain and numbness. The piriformis muscle near your glutes may also become aggravated, which can irritate the nerve and trigger lower back and sciatic pain. You're better off placing your wallet or money clip in your front pocket while sitting for a prolonged period.

The skinny on skinny jeans
Skinny jeans have become the quintessential fashion staple for many women and men especially in the fall. Unfortunately, trying to squeeze into them is more than an inconvenience. An overly tight fit could actually cause nerve damage.

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