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The confidence of high heels brings increased risk of sprains and back pain

The confidence of high heels brings increased risk of sprains and back pain

Women who wear high heels may feel more self-confident and appealing to men, but they're more likely to suffer sprains, broken ankles and back pain.

According to British researchers, both men and ladies find heels more attractive, with two-thirds of businesswomen crediting the shoes for boosting their image, wellbeing, and self-assurance, while men are almost twice as likely to flash a smile at women in heels over those in flats.

A team from Aberdeen University looked into 20 publications on high heels in order to identify the risk of musculoskeletal pain and risk of injury. They found that women in higher shoes can suffer problems from their toes all the way up to their spine, which can lead to issues in the back and ankle, increased the likelihood of falling over and other problems such as bunions.

Speaking of the results, which were published in the journal BMC Public Health, lead author Dr. Max Barnish explained, "There is pressure on women to wear heels, and celebrity influence with people such as Victoria Beckham and Kate Middleton making it fashionable to do so, whether they intend to or not.

"There is often not an absolute rule to wear heels, but in some workplaces, there can be an unspoken expectation which means that everyone does it.

"Evidence shows women are suffering ankle fractures and sprains, back pain and bunions. But they are judged to be attractive, which creates a dilemma."

He further urged the U.K. Government to introduce specific laws to tackle this issue following highly publicised examples of women who were forced to wear heels in the workplace. A British Airways hostess previously revealed she felt like a "prostitute" due to being told to wear stilettos when in the airport, while a receptionist in a London office was sent home when she turned up to work in flats last year (16), triggering a petition to ban companies from demanding female employees fit a certain appearance.

"No employer should discriminate against workers on grounds of gender - it is unacceptable and is against the law," a Government spokesman said of the new research. "Dress codes must include equivalent requirements for both men and women. To make the law clearer to employers and employees, the Government will produce new guidance on workplace dress codes."

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