Washington, Feb 3 : Wearing high heels not only makes a woman look sexy, but also improve her sex life, says a new study.
Lead researcher Maria Cerruto, a urologist at the University of Verona, said that she conducted her tests because she wished to tackle "bizarre" non-scientific theories blaming high heels for a range of ills, including schizophrenia.
The study found that wearing a pair of moderately high heels could tone the body, condition muscles, and even improve a woman's sex life without the need for onerous exercise sessions.
"As a woman who loves heeled shoes, I tried to find something healthy in them. In the end I achieved my goal. Heels affect pelvic floor activity, reducing pain and improving your health. We now hope to prove that wearing heels during daily activity may reduce the need for pelvic exercises," Times Online quoted her as saying.
During the study, the researcher studied 66 volunteers aged under 50 and measured the electrical activity in the pelvic muscles of the women.
She discovered that women who held their feet at a 15-degree angle to the ground, the equivalent of a 7cm heel, showed up to 15 per cent less electrical activity in their pelvic muscles.
The results suggest the muscles are more relaxed when women wear higher heels, increasing their strength and ability to contract.
"Women often find it difficult to complete their exercises. This may prove a solution," Cerruto said.
Matt Roberts, a personal trainer whose clients have included Madonna, Naomi Camp-bell, Natalie Imbruglia, Mel C and John Galliano, said: "A woman wearing high heels will hold the muscles tight to compensate. When you are standing on tiptoes you have to clench the buttocks, the inner thighs and the pelvic floor muscles. It would potentially give them a short-term tension and toning. But the negative effects can outweigh the positive."
He added: "The knees and metatarsals are put under strain, the hips are out of position. It can lead to long-term health risks."
The study is published in the journal European Urology.