Wear Sports Bra for Better Comfort, Study Says

Aug 20, 2010
Many women, especially those with large cup size are embarrassed to exercise simply because they hate how their breasts are bouncing during workouts. Besides the awkwardness, breast movements can affect women's jogging, a new study suggests.

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth in England conducted an experiment to find, if breast motion has an effect on women's running form. They found that in women, who run without bra, their stride underwent certain changes with more impact force moving through their feet. This may lead to higher stress, making running more difficult and harmful, because it can result in more injures.

During the study, 20 women with C+ breast cup size were running, while wearing different sports bra. Researchers tracked the breast movements using infrared cameras. The study showed that breasts bounce through a complicated figure-8-pattern during running.

Scientists concluded that large-breasted women should wear sports bras with breast encapsulation, compression and elevation to adequately support breasts during physical activities and provide needed comfort.

Nowadays there is a variety of sports bras and most of them feature either encapsulation, when the breasts are surrounded to protect mostly against up and down motion, or compression, when the breast tissue is evenly pressed against the chest to reduce bounce.

In the study women, wearing sports bra that used compression and elevation with small foam pads tucked in the bra , reported that this type of sports bra was the most comfortable to wear. This sports bra also was more effective at reducing up and down, as well as side to side motion.

So what sports bra should you to choose for running and other activities? Specialists recommend that women should buy sports bra that is supportive and comfortable to wear. To test the sports bra, a woman should jump up and down in the bra and see how much motion occurs. The sports bra should be firmer than your usual bra, but not uncomfortable.