Why we have curvy spines

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • How women evolved to stop them falling over in pregnancy

    Women evolved curvier spines to stop them falling over in pregnancy, scientists have discovered.

    Apparently, without a little extra bend, women would be falling over left, right and centre while pregnant – or crippled by back pain at the very least.

    ‘Any mother can attest to the awkwardness of standing and walking while balancing pregnancy weight in front of the body,’ says Liza Shapiro of Harvard University.

    ‘Yet our research shows their spines have evolved to make pregnancy safer and less painful than it might have been if these adaptations had not occurred.’

    Both men and women have a curve in the lower part of their spine, however, women’s curves are longer – a result of evolution in the early stages of man’s existence.

    Explains Shapiro: ‘Without the adaptation, pregnancy would have placed a heavier burden on back muscles, causing considerable pain and fatigue and possibly limiting foraging capacity and the ability to escape from predators.’

    Reading now