From your love of body-fitting underwear to your burgeoning sky-high stiletto collection, you might not realise how the latest trends are harming you.
In fact, a recent study found that 73 per cent people have suffered back pain and associated problems caused by the clothes and accessories they wear.
Here, speaking to FEMAIL, skeletal therapist and leading posture expert, Dell-Maree Day, reveals how your love of fashion could be killing you.
‘If you already have poor posture, then ill-fitting, tight, uncomfortable clothing and footwear can really make things worse,’ Dell-Maree Day told Daily Mail Australia.
So what are the main culprits?
From your love of body-fitting underwear to a burgeoning sky-high stiletto collection, you might not realise what keeping up with the latest trends is doing to your health (stock image)
Here, speaking to FEMAIL, skeletal therapist and leading posture expert, Dell-Maree Day (pictured), reveals how your love of fashion could be killing you
Are you wearing the wrong-sized bra?
* If the band of your bra is rubbing, your breasts are too big for the bra.
* Similarly, if your band is on the tightest hook and you can still slide it around with ease, then your bra is too big
* Check your straps – if they’re digging into your shoulders or constantly falling off and needing to be tightened, then your bra doesn’t fit correctly.
* Just because you’re one size in one store, doesn’t means you’ll be the same size in all stores.
* If you have ‘boob bulge’, either over the front or the sides of your bra, then it doesn’t fit right.
* Try to get professionally fitted every six months, and wear your bra tightly to ensure the best fit and room to move.
* Increase the shelf life of your bra by washing them inside a laundry bag and avoiding the tumble dryer.
When it comes to our underwear, while you might think what you’re wearing does the job, in fact 80 per cent of us are wearing the wrong-sized bra.
And the wrong-sized bra can put strain on your shoulders and cause lower back pain in the long run.
‘The most important thing with bras, apart from getting the right cup size, is getting a bra that fits you properly across the back,’ Dell-Maree said.
The expert added that bras that are too tight ‘tend to sit up high on the back pulling it forward’.
‘Straps that are too thin can also pull your shoulders forward,’ she added.
If you’re looking for the ideal bra, then look for something that fits you well across your back and features wide straps, ‘which will firmly support your upper body and ensure your spine is sitting in the correct position’.
The band should also sit tight against the body for a close and proper fit.
Many of us are guilty of throwing everything we own into the bottom of our handbag.
But hauling around a giant bag filled with everything you own might cause health issues such as shoulder pain and discomfort down the track.
‘Carrying a heavy handbag constantly on one shoulder should really be avoided,’ Dell-Maree explained.
‘It will drag your shoulder downwards so it’s sitting low and out of alignment with the other shoulder.’
The first thing the posture expert recommends you do is ‘de-clutter your bag’.
‘No one needs to be carting around heaps of things,’ she said.
‘If you really do have a lot of stuff to carry around, then consider switching to a backpack, which won’t create as much shoulder strain as a bag that drags your shoulders down.’
Hauling around a giant bag filled with everything you own might cause health issues such as shoulder pain and discomfort down the track (stock image)
They’re a trend beloved by women the world over.
But any clothes that restrict your movement – in particular skinny jeans – can affect your posture and eventually cause problems in your neck or back.
‘I have a real bee in my bonnet about tight, low-rise skinny jeans,’ Dell-Maree said.
‘Low-rise jeans can drag your pelvis almost backwards, which is really bad for your sacroiliac joints – the hardworking joints of your sacrum that are connected to your ilium bones by strong ligaments.
‘Putting strain on this load-bearing area can potentially lead to lower back pain.’
If you must wear skinny jeans, the expert recommends you opt for a pair that sit higher up on the waist ‘and have a bit of spandex in them, so that the material is more stretchy than restrictive’.
Body-shaping underwear could also lead to acid reflux, heartburn and excess pressure on the stomach (stock image)
They might flatten our stomachs and smoothe out any lumps and bumps.
But body-shaping underwear could also lead to acid reflux, heartburn and excess pressure on the stomach.
‘In terms of support briefs, while they should be firm, you still need to be able to breathe,’ Dell-Maree said.
‘Support garments that really restrict your breathing and compress your internal organs can cause strain and aches in all sorts of different areas of the body.’
Dell-Maree warned especially against support garments that compress the ribs.
‘By all means wear these undergarments now and then for a special occasion, but don’t make it an everyday thing.’
Dell-Maree (pictured) warned especially against support garments that compress the ribs, which, she said, should not be an everyday thing
Sky-high stilettos may be eye-catching but are doing your health and posture no favours.
‘In order to balance on stilettos, most people are a little hunched forward,’ Dell-Maree said.
‘Your head will also be pulled a little forward, which can create pressure in your neck muscles.’
If you swear by stilettos, then wear them seated as much as possible, the expert said.
‘Standing for hours on end at a cocktail party can create a lot of strain on your joints and muscles when your feet are not flat on the floor with your weight distributed easily.’
In addition to this, the expert warns about excessively wearing sliders or thongs (flip flops), which include little support and can affect your gait as you compensate by gripping the shoes while you walk.
The expert warns about excessively wearing sliders or thongs (flip flops), which include little support and can affect your gait as you compensate by gripping the shoes while you walk
How to counteract the damage fashion does to your health?
‘The best thing to do to improve your posture on a daily basis is learning to sit, stand and walk properly. You can do this when you’re sitting at your desk, walking to a café, or waiting for a bus,’ Dell-Maree said.
HOW TO SIT:
‘Move your spine away from the back of your chair and sit on the front half of the chair. Place your feet flat on the floor directly under your knees with a fist-size space between your feet and knees.
‘Look straight ahead and sit as tall and relaxed as possible. Don’t forget to relax your arms. As you do this you will notice your spine has completely stacked itself up so the natural curves of your spine are reinstated. This is a simple thing you can do frequently at your desk. As your spine stacks itself up, transforming your posture, there will be a reduction in the compression and distortion of your joints. This is the key to eliminating aches and pains at your desk.’
HOW TO STAND:
‘When standing still, look straight ahead with your feet 10cm apart. Stand as tall and relaxed as possible. Since the advent of smart phones, the standing posture for many has really gone downhill as people are now looking down constantly at their phones. This pulls the neck forward resulting in a hunchback. Always look ahead if you can.
‘You will instantly look and feel slimmer as your lower and upper back will life and your shoulders will relax. This will reduce strain throughout your spine, especially your upper torso and neck.’
HOW TO WALK:
‘Walk tall, looking straight ahead in a relaxed manner. Take the longest stride you can comfortably. Whilst re-aligning your body with “still postures” is more effective, it’s still a smart idea to practice a good walking technique stretching your hamstrings.
‘You will burn more calories because the longer your stride, and the more tall and relaxed you are, the more muscles you will use. You will find walking easier and your posture will be better.’