Six things we have learned from sports bra researchBy Derriere Equestrian
Comfort and fit are key for mature women
A brand new (2018) study published in Ergonomics found that age and body mass index significantly affect breast characteristics, tallying with a previous study in the 2014 European Journal of Ageing that found that bras have a ‘social role’, in terms of one’s body perception and self-esteem. Just 7 % of the ‘mature’ women (45-65 years old) surveyed were ‘still proud of their breasts’. Of primary importance to those ‘mature’ participants included areas such as comfort, the bra's ability to stay in place, and optimal fit.
Comfortable straps are preferable, during exercise
A 2015 study published in Sports Medicine looked at bra strap width, finding that thinner straps offered least support, and the most amount of pressure.
Bigger boobs jiggle more (quelle surprise!)
A study published in Applied Ergonomics in 2013 studied what’s described as ‘bra-breast forces’ in women with large breasts while standing and running. Unsurprisingly, bigger boobs caused more ‘vertical breast displacement’. (That’s jiggle, to the rest of us). The researchers advised wearing sports bras with ‘high levels of breast support [during] physical activity [via a sports bra], to reduce force generation and breast discomfort’.
Elevation and compression boots comfort
A 2010 study published in Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise looked at bra design, concluding that elevation AND compression of the breasts is preferable to increase breast and bra comfort, when compared with a standard encapsulation sports bra. The team stated: ‘Exercise-induced breast discomfort was achieved through greater breast elevation and compression, with no increase in vertical breast displacement (jiggle!) [when the breasts were elevated].’
Compression bras aren’t necessarily comfortable for non-exercise situations
They’re not for everyone, but compression bras CAN work well for women with smaller breasts. A 2016 study published in Ergonomics found that, of the women studied, who were of Chinese origin (Chinese women average a 34B or 34A size), compression sports bra provided more ‘comfortable support’ than encapsulation sports bras, which give more separation and elevation. However, when the wearers were stationary, the compression bras were found to be more uncomfortable.
The majority of female sporting enthusiasts seemingly experience bra-fit issues
A study relating to participants in the 2012 London marathon published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that three-quarter of participants reported bra fit issues, e.g. chaffing and shoulder straps digging in, with a higher incidence of issues reported by participants with larger breasts.
Naturally, Derriere Equestrian has taken all of the industry’s research into consideration with the design of our Sportief Bra, which boasts:
A fusion of encapsulation and compression in the sports bra, which is designed for horse riders.
An exclusive (non-underwired) cupping system designed to lift, separate, shape and support the rider’s breasts.
Shoulder straps featuring a padded support system.
An item that’s comfortable and flattering under clothes, both on and off the horse, and both in and out of the gym.
A wide range of sports bra sizes, with an enhanced ‘plus’ range coming soon.