Parents often worried that their children’s feet will get injured or infected by some kind of nasty disease for walking barefoot, hence they put on shoes for them wherever they go.
However, contrary to that popular belief, a study actually reveals that walking barefoot is actually more beneficial for the development of the children and even offers health benefits to adults too.
Allowing a child to walk barefooted is actually good for their development.
The sensory system is in full development during a child’s early life and that allows the brain to learn, adapt and grow. All of our five senses—touch, vision, hearing, smell and taste allow that to happen, but touch sense was somewhat undervalued.
A vitalistic chiropractor and member of the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association Dr. Kacie Flegal stated there are two important sensory systems but easily overlooked by many, namely the proprioceptive system and the vestibular system.
The development of these systems can actually be improved by walking barefoot.
Proprioception is the ability to understand the motion and positioning of the human body, while the vestibular system is responsible for balance and coordination changes in space. Our center of gravity and posture are also determined by this vestibular system.
In other words, walking barefoot can help to boost our brain function.
To make sure these two systems develop in the best way possible, sensory input is necessary—which means letting your children walk barefoot is actually a good idea. The doctor says that feet are absolutely perfect as sensory input because they’re equipped with strong neurological connections and has many sensory cells.
Allowing and motivating your children to walk barefoot can result in better neuromuscular strength, greatly improves balancing, coordination, and spatial orientation skills.
Stimulating the feet can also result in a higher development of brain centers.
“With guidance and a soft patch or grass, dirt, or wet leaves available, encourage babies to discover how great it feels to tromp around with naked feet! As a result, you will permit them a great platform for the development of higher brain centers responsible for emotional control, problem-solving, language, social skills, and self-assurance,” wrote the doctor in an article.
All the benefits didn’t only apply to children but to adults too as new neural connections can still develop regardless of our age.
Maybe we should give our feet a break and take it off from the shoes more often.