According to new consumer research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), 39% of adults aged 25-34 admit to regularly wearing restrictive clothing, with this figure shooting up to 74% for 18-24 year olds. Nearly a fifth (17%) of all adults questioned said they carry a large handbag or shopping bag regularly and half of people who carry a bag with one strap admitted to always wearing it on the same shoulder, which can contribute to neck or back pain.
With 77% of adults saying they either currently suffer from back or neck pain or have done in the past BCA chiropractor, Tim Hutchful, explains why our wardrobes could be playing a part in our pain: “Restrictive clothing like pencil skirts and skinny jeans can stop the body from moving freely so when you perform certain movements in tight clothes regularly, this can lead to injury. Heavy handbags constantly worn on one shoulder can damage posture, for example by causing someone to develop a ‘drop shoulder’ where one shoulder is lower than the other.”
- Keep your outfit styles varied: try and avoid wearing the same outfit combination every day as this could restrict movement in certain areas of your body, which could then cause you injury.
- Prevention is better than cure: If you think your clothing or the bag you carry may be causing you back pain, try changing them for a period of time as this may help your posture.
- Get the straps right: If you have a rucksack, use both straps and adjust them so your bag is held close to your back which should reduce the strain. If your bag has one strap, alternate the shoulder you carry it on.
- Put your best foot forward: Good footwear is important for your back health and soft soled shoes that are supportive are the key. If you regularly wear high heels it is important to wear trainers or shoes with smaller heels from time to time.
How this spring/summer fashion ‘must haves’ can impact on your posture:
- The pleated skirt or culottes: A pleated skirt will allow your legs to move freely without being restricted so there is no unnecessary strain on the legs which can contribute to good back health.
- The bucket rucksack hybrid: This style of bag is designed to carry lots of items in it but be careful not to fall into the trap of overfilling it and thereby putting a large amount of strain on the back.
- Trainers and brogues: These sensible shoe choices are popular this season and may also be helpful for your posture.