Features of sports bras that deter their use by Australian women



Publication Details

Bowles, K., Steele, J. R. & Munro, B. J. 2012, 'Features of sports bras that deter their use by Australian women', Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 195-200.


Objectives: This study aimed to identify features of commercially available sports bras that deter women from wearing them while participating in physical activity. Design: Study results were obtained from a self-administered mail survey, which was posted to participants after gaining their verbal consent via random telephone recruitment. Methods: Four hundred and thirteen women aged 20-35 years were recruited from New South Wales, Australia, with 267 (65%) surveys returned. Results: It was found that the shoulder straps slipping or cutting into the shoulder were the two most disliked features of current sports bras, with 23% of respondents also indicating that the shoulder straps were the first bra feature to fail. Respondents also indicated that the perceived tightness of the sports bra around the chest was a deterrent for their use. Conclusions: Although previous research has found that a correctly fitted sports bra does not impede athletic performance, further research is required to investigate sports bra shoulder strap designs to improve wearer comfort without negatively affecting the ability of a sports bra to reduce breast motion and/or associated breast pain during participation in physical activity.

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