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Jaime Schultz

The invention of the commercial sports bra in 1977 was a significant advancement for physically active women. Despite its humble origins as an enabling technology, the sports bra has since been invested with new and varied cultural meanings and currencies. In this article I critically read popular representations of sports bras, specifically advertisements and “iconic sports-bra moments” that circulate around Brandi Chastain’s celebration of the U.S. women’s soccer team’s victory in the 1999 World Cup. I argue that such representations sexualize sports bras and the women who wear them. In addition, these representations homogenize and normalize ideals of femininity, which are considered achievable through technologies of disciplined body management, and reproduce the traditional gender order.

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Emma Burnett, Jenny White and Joanna Scurr


The importance of physical activity is well known.1 However, previous research suggests that breast movement during exercise can be painful, embarrassing, and anecdotally deter exercise participation.2,3 Therefore, this research investigates whether the breast influences physical activity participation.


Female respondents (n = 249) completed a breast health and physical activity survey assessing bras and bra fit, physical activity, breast pain, comments and improvements, breast history, and demographics.


Results found that the breast was a barrier to physical activity participation for 17% of women. “I can’t find the right sports bra” and “I am embarrassed by excessive breast movement” were the most influential breast related barriers to activity. Breast pain increased with vigorous activity and poor breast support. Breast health knowledge increased the use of a sports bra and levels of physical activity.


The breast was the fourth greatest barrier to physical activity, behind energy/motivation (first), time constraints (second), and health (third), despite its omission from previous physical activity literature. As 33% of women were not meeting physical activity guidelines, increasing breast health knowledge may reduce barriers to physical activity.

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Alexandra Milligan, Chris Mills and Joanna Scurr

More and more studies are emerging reporting breast kinematics. These studies rarely present effect sizes, power, and variance in the data. Important inferences are drawn from these data, including applications to product design, breast pain assessment, sports performance effects, and more. The aim of the study was to explore the within-participant variance in breast kinematic data during a 5 km run. Multiplanar breast kinematics and within-participant variance, defined by the coefficient of variation, for 10 female participants wearing a low and high level breast support were calculated during a 5 km run. Greater within-participant variance was reported in the high level (mean = 15%) breast support compared with the low level (mean = 12%). Within-participant variance in breast kinematics did not change over the 5 km run. Differences in the magnitude of within-participant variance in breast kinematics were reported between directions of breast movement, with greater levels in the anteroposterior direction compared with mediolateral and vertical. It is important for the progression of this research area that the presence and sources of within-participant variance in breast kinematics are quantified and acknowledged, ensuring that the margin for meaningful differences can be reported.

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Claire Bridgman, Joanna Scurr, Jennifer White, Wendy Hedger and Heather Galbraith

Anecdotal reports suggest two-step star jumps cause excessive breast movement and discomfort, leading to recommendations for this activity as a diagnostic tool to determine effective breast support in a retail environment. The aim was to investigate multiplanar bare-breast kinematics during the two-step star jump and to establish the relationship between breast kinematics, discomfort and cup size. Thirty-nine females completed five two-step star jumps with no breast support after which breast discomfort was rated. To establish relative breast kinematics infrared cameras tracked the 3D co-ordinates of breast and body markers. Maximum resultant breast displacement, velocity and acceleration during jumping reached 18.7 cm, 93.1 cm·s−1 and 3.6 g, respectively. Significantly more vertical breast displacement (p < 0.01) and velocity (p < 0.01) occurred compared with mediolateral and anteroposterior kinematics. Breast discomfort increased as cup size increased (r = .61). Two-step star jumping stimulated multiplanar breast kinematics and high levels of breast discomfort. Therefore, this activity may be useful in a retail outlet to determine the function and comfort of a sports bra.

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Nancy E. Spencer

mundane object. Chapter 6 provides a comparable investigation of the sports bra, the revision of an earlier article (“Discipline and push-up: Female bodies, femininity, and sexuality in popular representations of sports bras”) published in the Sociology of Sport Journal ( Schultz, 2004 ). This chapter

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Elisa S. Arch, Sarah Colón and James G. Richards

: implications for sports bra design . Appl Ergon . 2013 ; 44 : 112 – 118 . PubMed ID: 22742876 doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2012.05.006 22742876 10.1016/j.apergo.2012.05.006 4. Page K , Steele J . Breast motion and sports implications for future research . Sports Med . 1999 ; 27 ( 4 ): 205 – 211 . 10

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Christopher John Stevens, Megan L. Ross, Julien D. Périard, Brent S. Vallance and Louise M. Burke

high-cut shorts, whereas the female athletes wore a sports bra and short tights or briefs. In the majority of cases, the bottoms were dark and the tops were light in color. Methodology During each race, environmental conditions were monitored 1 m above the walking surface and within 5 m of the racing

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Anh-Dung Nguyen, Jeffrey B. Taylor, Taylor G. Wimbish, Jennifer L. Keith and Kevin R. Ford

, MA) with a sampling rate of 1200 Hz. Participants wore spandex shorts, sports bras, and athletic shoes that allowed for 43 retroreflective markers 16 to be placed directly on the skin with double-sided tape. Markers were secured to the sternum, sacrum, left posterior superior iliac spine, C7, 3

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Carl Persson, Flinn Shiel, Mike Climstein and James Furness

if they were unable to maintain the required position for the duration of the scans. To reduce the likelihood of artifacts, male participants wore underwear during scanning, whereas female participants wore underwear, sports bra, or two-piece bathers. Participants initially were informed of all

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Sharyn G. Davies and Antje Deckert

. Unlike karate, judo and taekwondo that require women to wear gi, which are cut for a generic male body with broad shoulders and slim hips, some Muay Thai clubs permit, sometimes demand, that women competitors wear make-up and (sexy) low cut shorts and sports bras, all in pink if desired. Showing that