The Dangerous Fashion
Last week was international women’s day and I thought I will use that to write a blog that most women can relate to. Before you start screaming that is not PC and gender equality and all that lot, men will be included too.
The other day, for the first time I have made an observation that the arm on which I have got my handbag is hardly moving while I walk. And perhaps that has been a case for a while. In normal gait, our arms should be swinging slightly to follow the natural pattern of the movement. Now, when you are out and about with a handbag, gym bag or laptop bag hanging off your shoulder, how much movement can you actually make with your shoulder?
That simple observation made me dig a little bit deeper into how fashion is affecting our bodies. And here are some interesting findings.
A research done in London on 1000 women has found that the average handbag weighs 3.04kg which is about 3 bags of sugar. If anyone asked you to take three bags of sugar and walk with them wherever you go, you would think that this is insane. Yet we carry handbags of that weight without giving it second thought. Very often however that is not the end of the story as many of us would carry additional laptop, iPad, gym bag and so on. And with the phones getting bigger and pockets in ladies clothing being still small or no existent, we have no choice but make yet another sacrifice in the name of fashion.
This same research has also shown that carrying around that much weight every day is causing or contributing to 63% of women to experience regular back pain. It can also lead to muscular spams, tightness, postural imbalance, pain in neck and shoulders.
But men are not safe either when it comes to fashion. While it is common that the back pocket is a chosen place for a wallet, sitting on your wallet for longer periods of time can cause back and hip pains. There are two issues to consider: the wallet can be pressing on the sciatic nerve and put your pelvis and spine in an unnatural position. As one side of the pelvis hikes, even if that only a minimal shift, the lower back will side bend with it and force the thoracic spine to curve the other way to counterbalance as your eyes want to stay horizontal. As you can imagine, compromised posture is an easy way to get more problems, pains and aches.
Tight clothing, as well as putting things in a front pocket, such as keys and then sitting for long period of time, can cause compression of the inguinal ligament and the nerve that supplies sensation to the skin on the thigh and lead to a condition known as meralagia paresthetica. This condition is characterized by tingling, numbness and burning in the outer thigh.
These are only some of the things to consider when it comes to fashion and how what we wear and how we wear it can affect our health. There are many more concerns such the obvious ones as wearing high heels and its impact on the rest of the body.
The important thing is that very often things that seem insignificant can have an impact on what happens with our body.
If you have a recurring pain in your shoulder or hips and you can’t quite put a finger on it, why not to get your posture assessed and talk to one of the members of our team to identify whether seemingly unimportant things that you may be doing in your everyday life are hindering your health.