Career Advice

High heels – Go High or Go Home

Posted by Sarah
min read

Christian Louboutin said, “Heels are pleasure with pain” and he couldn’t have been more correct. Personally, I love wearing heels as being all of 150 cm ( or 5 feet nothing!), my heels make me feel fabulous. However, ask me at the end of an 8-hour day if I love my heels and I’ll tell you a very different story.

I recently read an article about Nicola Thorp a receptionist in London, who was sent home without pay in December 2015 for refusing to wear high heels. She then began a petition in which she urged the UK government to ban employers from requiring women to wear high heels in the workplace. Her petition gained 152,420 signatures but despite the nationwide reaction, her petition was thrown out and no law was created.

Are high heels necessary for a female employee to do her job? 

Let’s remove the argument of sexism and purely look at this from a health perspective:

  • The spine health institute of Florida in the US, released an article outlining the health implications of wearing high heels;
  • The lower back is pushed forward, taking the hips and spin out of alignment - poor alignment can lead to muscle overuse and back pain
  • Excess pressure is placed on the knees, additionally calve muscles can shorten and tendons may thicken.
  • Foraminal stenosis is a spinal nerve condition which can be caused by wearing high heels and which can lead to shooting pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. The list goes on.

Employers spend thousands of dollars on ergonomically designed desks and desk chairs, health and safety policies and employer health incentives. 

So why would they still want to enforce a high heel dress code which may lead to long term health issues for (some of) their staff?