Scientists help develop new sports bra fitting service

September 28, 2011, University of Portsmouth
Scientists help develop new sports bra fitting service

The University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health have joined forces with a specialist running retailer and developed the UK’s first evidence-based professional sports bra fitting service.

Launched this week, the free service in all Sweatshop stores around the country aims to help every woman find appropriate breast support for sport.

Led by Dr. Joanna Scurr, the internationally recognized Research Group in Breast Health, part of the University’s Department of Sports & Exercise Science, has helped Sweatshop develop an education program for its staff, enabling the retailer to become the first to offer customers such a service.

A recent study by the Group suggests that seven out of 10 women wear the wrong bra size, risking breast pain and even potential tissue damage. The service aligns with Dr. Scurr’s campaign to educate young women about the importance of breast support and bra selection for everyday use and sport.

Dr. Scurr said: “We fully support Sweatshop’s campaign, which brings awareness to this important issue. Our research demonstrates that a correctly-fitted sports bra offering appropriate support, can reduce breast movement by up to 78 per cent and also reduce associated breast pain. As the breast contains no muscles it may also reduce the risk of breast sag, which is why it is so important to wear a well-fitting sports bra when you exercise, whatever your size.”

The free professional bra fitting service is launched on 1st, October 2011 to UK customers and includes advice and help with choosing the right size and style sports bra. Selected stores will feature ‘bra bars’, a dedicated area for quality performance sports bras. Dr. Scurr has helped Sweatshop develop a bra fitting guide and educational video available to assist customers who shop online.

Sweatshop has seen a huge growth in the sports bra industry which is now beginning to rival running shoes as one of the most technically advanced items of sporting apparel for women. Its aim is to educate women on the importance of wearing a sports bra when exercising and to assist them in finding their ideal fit.

Senior Sweatshop buyer Amanda Brasher said: “Our focus is on finding the perfect fit and offering a welcoming environment for women, where questions about breast health are encouraged. We want to ensure that our customers are aware of the need to wear a proper sports bra when exercising and replace them as often as they do their running shoes for ultimate comfort and performance.”

In a pilot scheme the University of Portsmouth and Sweatshop are collaborating to launch an educational workshop programme on breast health to five schools in the UK.

Dr. Scurr said: “The right breast support can make a huge difference and our challenge now is to communicate that to young women nationwide, which is something we hope to achieve with the Breast Health Education Program”.

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