We can fly to the moon and live without gravity, yet have not managed to harness the technology to keep our breasts in place while here on earth.
According to a study by scientist Dr. Joanna Scurr of England’s University of Portsmouth, breasts move far more than ordinary bras are designed to cope with. In addition to obvious bouncing, side to side and in-and-out motions also contribute to the pain that more than 50 percent of women say they experience when exercising.
"This makes wearing a sports bra as important if you jog slowly as it is if you sprint,” said Scurr in a press release. “There really are women who want to do exercise but who don’t have the bras to cope."
Scurr’s study disproves the previously held belief that compression bras are better for reducing movement in small-breasted women and encapsulation bras better for larger-breasted women. She found instead that encapsulation bars are better at reducing breast movement in women regardless of cup size.
Breasts have very limited natural support and are subject to exercise-related pain due to stretching of the breast tissue. Scurr said that her studies showed that while medication to reduce breast pain was successful for 54 percent of the women involved, they had still had to contend with side effects of the medication, while sports bras were shown to be successful at reducing breast pain for 80 percent of women, with no side effects at all. Scurr is hoping to help develop smart fabrics which will change to provide custom-made support for each woman depending on the wearer’s level of activity.
"It is only recently that bra design has turned to science,” said Scurr.