Comparison of breast motion at different levels of support during physical activity

Lin-Hwa Wang, Li-Chieh Kuo, Fong-Chin Su


Optical tracking systems have been used in previous studies to capture the motion of the nude breast and breasts in bras, under the assumption that no breast-bra relative movement occurred within the bra. This study compared breast and bra movement through electromagnetic tracking and optical tracking systems to determine the relative breast movement occurring with different breast support and exercise-induced breast discomfort. Total of 30 female participants (mean age: 21.5 ± 2.3 years; cup sizes: A-F) were recruited and their movement at four different levels of breast support was recorded in two motion capture systems for further analysis and comparison. Significant differences between bra and breast vertical displacement were found at all support levels during periods of intense movement (r = 0.556; p < 0.05). Because the greatest bra displacement was observed when participants wore an everyday bra and the greatest breast displacement was observed when participants wore a crop-top bra, there was evident inconsistency in bra and breast motion and a high-impact sports bra was the most effective to reduce breast movement and discomfort among the four types of bras. An electromagnetic tracking system provided direct observation of the actual movement of the breasts, and an optical tracking system enabled us to monitor bra displacement. Significant differences were observed in bra and breast displacement during the intense movements included in this study. The results bring into question the assumption made in previous studies that no relative movement occurs within a breast support garment.




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