A shocking piece of research conducted by The University of Portsmouth reported ‘about half of all girls in UK secondary schools might avoid sport because of the embarrassment or pain caused by their breasts’, that ‘only one in every ten 14 year old girls meets the government physical activity guidelines’ because ‘almost half of the girls they surveyed said their breasts had an effect on their sport or exercise participation’ and ‘15% of girls thought their breasts were too big to be able to exercise’. Even more shocking, ‘only 10% always wore a bra when exercising’. It is understandable that the teenage girl might feel uncomfortable with her changing body, however it is clear that little education has been given on the matter of breast health re the implications of not wearing a properly supportive bra. To find out more about The University of Portsmouth breast research follow this link to view an interesting infographic - http://www.port.ac.uk/department-of-sport-and-exercise-science/research/breast-health/
Additional research from the University of Portsmouth has found wearing a sports bra reduces the activity of the pectoral muscle by 55%, which could affect levels of fatigue when a woman runs. Plus supporting the breasts can significantly reduce the forces exerted through the leg and to the ground when running, reducing the risk of injury. It has also been suggested that the choice of bra may influence the breathing rate, lung capacity and thermos regulation during exercise. Therefore, by just wearing a sports bra, you could increase your athletic performance!
Indeed for the athlete, a sports bra is an integral part of their kit. The 11-times British javelin champion, Goldie Sayers has been reported to have commented that if she forgot her sports bra, she wouldn’t compete. The sports bra allows for the athlete to focus on the task at hand and not what their body is doing.