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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Flip-flops could be bad for our health FROM Breaking News English

Flip-flops, the slip-on, slip-off footwear most of us wear to the beach, may be bad for our health. This is according to a study carried out by the American College of Sports Medicine. The report showed that walking in flip-flops can trigger aches and pains all over the body, not just make our feet sore. It goes so far as to say that flip-flops are the most damaging type of shoes for our health, even worse than high heels. Report author Justin Shroyer stated: “We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.” He explained that people changed their walking style because they were "very concerned about stubbing their toes" and wanted to make sure the flip-flop stayed put on the foot and did not go flying off.

The flip-flop research involved 39 male and female graduates. They were videoed while walking in flip-flops and in athletic shoes. The researchers compared the length of people’s stride and limb angles when people wore the different footwear. They discovered that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps, gripped more with their toes and moved their ankles in a wider angle. All of these changes to our walking style cause unnatural shocks to our joints. This can create stresses which can lead to serious injury if they are repeated over a long period of time. Estimates are that the average person takes 15,000 steps each day. Even small, unnatural changes to a healthy walking style can be multiplied thousands of times if we wear flip-flops all day. The researchers advised wearing flip-flops for short periods of time only.

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