In our preoccupation with fashion, we may not pay attention to the ill effects it has on our health. Doctors expose us to some of the health hazards that fashion brings with it.
It is inevitable that we are judged by the way we dress. People often make judgments on others, about who they are, their line of business and their competencies from their physical appearances. However, many trendsetters are unwittingly paying the high price of fashion with their health.
While we all want to look professional, it is important to remember that dressing up for work does not imply sacrificing your personal comfort or putting your health at risk.
Here are some common fashion health hazards office workers should be cautious about committing.
Some people tend to choose fashion over comfort. This is the reason why they can put up with the discomfort that comes hand in hand with tight clothing.
Many males suffer from itchy groin or itchy scrotum, with or without rash, because of ill-fitting clothes and non-cotton based clothes.
“Tight fitting jeans or pants often aggravate their problems as the groin is more humid and warm and there is increased rubbing and friction between the fabric and the irritated skin,” said A/Prof Wong Soon Tee, a Consultant Dermatologist with Raffles Aesthetics.
Tight belts also interfere with breathing and this result in breathlessness and giddiness. One may also suffer from heartburn as a result, as digestion is restricted when the belt wrapped too tightly around the waist.
Tip: Wear pants or underpants that are cotton-based, more airy and not so tight fitting.
Does your choice of footwear leave your feet protesting in pain? Do not simply ignore painful corns, calluses and blisters as they are warning signs that you are not making the best choice for footwear. Put your best foot forward by listening to them, instead of fashion guidebooks.
High heels put a lot of pressure on the toes and are especially demanding on the spine and muscles that support it. Your spine suffers as a result and you experience serious back pain.
“As a doctor, I would advise women to minimise the occasions they wear heels. High heels cause quite a lot of problems over the long term. By the time you get knee, ankle and back pains from wearing heels, the damage is already done,” said Dr Lim Lian Arn, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon of Raffles Orthopaedic Centre.
Even wearing a pair of two-inch heels subjects the balls of your feet to 50 percent more pressure as compared to wearing flats. The increased pressure can lead to bunions, bone deformities and osteoarthritis of the knee and lower back pain.
On the other hand, shoes that are too flat are also not ideal for the feet. “Wear shoes with two to three centimetres of elevation,” Dr Lim advised.
Dr Lim also explained that high heels increase knee joint pressures by up to 25 percent. Over time, this increased pressure can lead to osteoarthritis and that causes long-term pain and problems.
Pointy shoes are another cause of bunions and blisters. Cramping of the toes may also cause hammertoe, the condition where one or both joints of the toes are bent. The joint may become dislocated over time, causing great pain.
Tip: Keep the duration of wearing high heels to the maximum of three consecutive hours.
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