Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking Your Best May Not Be the Best Thing For You

Being fashionable may hurt your health Being fashionable isn't always a good thing.

The latest fashion may look good, but popular looks and accessories are frequently impractical and could create leg, back, and spine or neck problems.

Some offenders: high-heel shoes, large bags, and tight clothing.

It's important to find clothes and accessories that not only fit your style, but are also comfortable. The American Chiropractic Association(ACA) gives these tips:
  • Choose comfortable shoes. If you must wear high heels, bring a pair of flat shoes along with you to change into should you become uncomfortable. If you walk to work, wear flat shoes and change into your more fashionable shoes when you arrive to alleviate any pain or discomfort.
  • If the shoe is uncomfortable while standing, chances are it will not be any more comfortable while walking. The wrong shoe can affect the body's center of gravity.
  • Choose supportive shoes. Designer spikes or non-supportive loafers may look nice but do not allow for easy, symmetrical walking.
  • While sitting, whether or not you are wearing heels, it is important to take frequent stretch breaks to alleviate atrophy of the hamstring muscles.
  • Avoid excessive wear of tight pants or clothing. If you prefer tighter clothes, choose styles that allow you to perform daily tasks with ease.
  • Select a briefcase or purse with a wide adjustable strap. Ideally, the strap should be long enough to place over the head. This evenly distributes the bulk of the weight across the body.
  • When carrying a bag, or briefcase, switch sides frequently to avoid placing the burden of the weight on one side of your body.
  • Take the time to empty unnecessary items from your bag.
  • Place all necessary items-such as wallets and cellular phones-in the front pockets of the bag. Stretching around to reach for your wallet can result in a pulled neck or back.
  • If you are driving or sitting for long periods of time, remove your wallet or card holder from the back pocket of your pants.
  • Think about your daily tasks. If your clothes affect your movements, consider outfits that fit your lifestyle.

Source: ACA

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