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Which exerts more pressure – an elephant’s foot or a woman in high heels?

You probably guessed it – the heels. Pressure is the force exerted over an area. The elephant, though much heavier, has a larger foot area than a heel. The heel exerts a pressure of 3 250 000 Pa compared to 250 000 Pa for an elephant’s foot [1], [2]. This is when an elephant is somehow performing a piroutte since elephants walk with two feet on the ground.

The recommendation from Australian Podiatry Association Victoria states ” if you do wish to wear high heels try to wear styles that offer good support in the arch and across the instep, try to avoid pointed toes, choose shoes with a wide base of support, ensure they fit well and make sure they are made of good quality leather.

It is generally recommended that you do alternate your shoes from one day to the next. Not only does this help to vary the posture of the foot and therefore distribute the load over a greater range of joints and muscles but it is also probably good for hygiene reasons. Allowing shoes to air over a day or two helps the shoe to dry out and reduce the growth of bacteria.” [3]

Image courtesy of

[1] Accessed 06/06/2013 [2] Accessed 06/06/2013 [3],%20is%20it%20okay%20to%20wear%20them%20now%20and%20then?%20Or%20should%20you%20wear%20different%20shoes%20everyday?. Accessed 06/06/2013

Aug 11

Foot facts



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Interesting Foot Facts

The average person will walk around 128,000kms in a life time – that ís more than three times around the earth.

A quarter of all the body ís bones are in the feet (there are 52 bones in a pair of feet).

The average child will take its first steps around 13-17 months – but between 10 and 18 months falls within the normal range.

During the first year of a child’s life their feet grow rapidly, reaching almost half their adult size.  By 12, a child’s foot is about 90 per cent of its adult length.

When walking, each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight.

It ís rare that two feet are exactly the same; one of them is often larger than the other.

In a pair of feet there are 250,000 sweat glands that produces approximately 500ml of perspiration daily.

The first foot coverings were probably animal skins, which Stone Age peoples in northern Europe and Asia tied around their ankles in cold wether.

Around 40 per cent of Australians will experience some form of foot problems in their lifetime.

Foot disorders in the elderly are extremely common and are the cause of much pain and disability, and consequent loss of mobility and independence.

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