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In a 2016 study from the Sahmyook University in Korea, researchers wanted to investigate the effects of high heels on the activation of muscles in the cervical and lumbar portions of the spine which refers to the neck and lower back. Thirteen women were recruited to walk down a walkway in three different testing conditions: barefoot, in 4 cm heels and in 10 cm heels. Surface electrodes were placed on the muscle mass of the women’s spines as well as their feet to measure the electrical activity of muscles at different points of movement. The results of the study indicated an increase in both cervical and lumbar muscle activation as heel height increased. The cervical spine, the neck, assists in maintaining head stability and postural control in the body. The usage of high heels shifts the body’s center of mass which forces the spine to adjust itself in order to maintain balance. The researchers mentioned that over time these results would increase local muscle fatigue that could lead to muscle swelling, decreased muscle movement and even tissue deformation.
High heels are a type of shoe in which the heel, compared with the toe, is significantly higher off the ground. These shoes go beyond simply protecting the foot from the ground or improving efficiency of walking. High heels make the wearer appear taller, accentuating the calf muscle and the length of the leg overall. There are many types of high heels, which come in different styles, colors and materials, and can be found all over the world. They have significant cultural and fashionable meanings attached to them, which have been largely shaped by historical contexts over the past 1,000 years. Wearing high heels is associated with some health problems.
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It has not been popular for men to wear high heels since the late 18th century. Some men see the cultural norm, which often mandates that women must wear heels to look professional, as completely unproblematic. However, women report that they are often painful to walk in, and commonly result in negative side effects to joints and veins after prolonged use.
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