Elephants less prone to having bunions

Stilettos may put more pressure on the heel than an elephant puts on his feet

elephant light on their feetIn an article published in the Pocono Record, East Stroudsburg University physics professor Robert Cohen posits the question, who exerts more pressure on their feet? A stiletto-clad woman or an elephant?

Using a formula to determine the pounds per square inch (psi) of both the woman and the animal, Cohen figures that a 100-pound woman wearing a stiletto heel that is one-quarter of an inch in surface area at its base exerts 1,600 psi on her heel. If she gained an extra 50 pounds, that number would rise to 2,400 psi.

Meanwhile, an elephant with four feet covering an area of about 40 square inches each exerts about 75 psi.

High heels cause bunions, hammer toe and other conditions by placing undue pressure on the ball of the foot, reports WebMD. While Cohen's calculations only account for pressure on the heel, the principle still applies, since the total surface area of the foot that meets the ground is always much less in a stiletto than it would be in a flat shoe.

Women who just can't let go of their high heels may want to consider using bunion splints or orthotics, which may help to prevent or correct bunions or hammer toe without the need for bunion surgery


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