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Effect of Footwear on Balance and Gait Among Young Female Students

Author(s): Mariam Khaled Mohamed, Reem A Taha, Hareem Tahir Baig, Hadeel Gehad Heji, Nura Osman Abyan, Senthilnathan Ramakrishnan, Sunitha Bhagavathi Mysore

Background: Footwear provides stability and support for the foot and the type of footwear has a significant impact on balance and gait. Research has shown that high heels alter postural stability and mobility. There is limited research on type of footwear and its impact on individuals balance and gait in young healthy adults.

Objective: To compare the effects of sports shoes versus high heels on balance and gait among young healthy individuals.

Material and Methods: A baseline questionnaire was given to young female healthcare students to find out the use of high heels and the regular users of high heels were only recruited for this study. Total of 30 students participated in the study, and their balance and gait were measured and compared using FRT, mCTSIB and 6 MWT between the use of high heels and sports shoes.

Results: Results showed better balance and gait parameters while using sport shoes when compared to the use of high heels. Differences were noted in the functional reach task (FRT) and 6-minute walk test (MWT) but there was no difference in the mCTSIB scores. Comparison of regular to occasional high heel users showed significant differences in the forward FRT.

Conclusion: Use of high heels affected the balance and gait of young female healthcare students and limited the distance of reach and six minutes walking for both regular and occasional users.

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