Skinny jeans, parka jackets and big handbags are causing back problems for women, according to experts. The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) warned that fashionable clothing has untold health risks.
It has long been argued that high heels are bad for the human spine but now super-tight jeans, heavy-hooded jackets and large bags carried to the body's side have been added to that list.
The BCA said that a third of women were not even aware that their clothing choices were affecting their backs. According to the organisation's research the worst female fashion items for causing women's back pain were:
- Skinny jeans
- Oversized bags and those worn on one side of the body
- Coats with large fluffy hoods
- High heeled shoes
- Backless shoes, e.g. mules
Chiropractor Tim Hutchful said: "I am always surprised at how many of my patients are unaware that their clothing and accessories can affect their back health and their posture and, equally, how many decide their outfit-choice outweighs their pain.
"Some of the most popular items of clothing can have a hidden health impact. While overloaded and heavy handbags are a common culprit, some more unexpected items like skinny jeans can also wreak havoc – they restrict free movement in areas such as the hips and knees, affecting the way we hold our bodies.
"New trends such as asymmetric hemlines, oversized sleeves and hoods and heavy jewellery can also create problems."
The BCA are advising women to vary their wardrobes thereby giving vulnerable parts of their bodies a chance to move freely. They are also being told to consider using less stylish ruck sacks, worn over both shoulders, instead of large designer handbags.
"Whilst we are certainly not saying stop wearing your favourite clothes altogether like most things in life, moderation is best and there are easy ways you can reduce the impact on your posture and overall health.
"For example, try and limit the number of times you wear skinny jeans or high heels every week so you're giving your body a break, or try investing in a backpack for days when you have a lot to carry around."