Jandals as dangerous as high heels, chiropractors say

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Jandals may have a reputation as the comfy summer footwear choice, but have now been outed as being no better than high heels when it comes to joints and muscles.

The New Zealand Chiropractors' Association (NZCA) says a study by Auburn University, Alabama, found bad posture caused by jandals could lead to long-term health problems in the knees, ankles, hips, back and neck.

"The fact jandals can be damaging is usually a surprise to people as they associate them with relaxation and comfort," NZCA spokesman Dr Simon Kelly said.

"But we've known for some time that when people walk in jandals they alter their stride to compromise for the lack of support the sandal provides. Jandal wearers tend to grip the shoe with their toes while walking, forcing them to take shorter steps. This modification in gait produces muscle imbalances and improper joint mechanics, leading to dysfunction in various parts of the body."

Despite the dangers, Dr Kelly says high heels and jandals need not be shunned entirely.

"It's all about moderation. It's been a great summer and naturally people want to look good. High heels and jandals should only be worn for short periods of time and both types of shoe should be reserved for days when you will not be doing a lot of walking."

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