AIM : The primary aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of a range of sports bras in reducing multi-planar breast displacement during treadmill running and a two-step star jump. A secondary aim was to assess the relationship between perceptual bra comfort, bra fit and breast pain and measured breast displacement. METHODS : Seventeen females (mean age 22 years, range 18 – 31 years) with bra cup sizes B to C volunteered to take part in the study. Three dimensional breast movements were determined for six randomly assigned breast support levels during treadmill running and two-step star jumping. Participants completed a perceptual questionnaire rating bra comfort, bra
fit and breast pain. RESULTS : Not all the bras significantly reduced resultant breast movement compared to a control condition. Not all the bras reduced resultant breast movement significantly at all speeds during the treadmill test. A different bra performed best during each of the treadmill running speeds. Perceptual ratings of bra fit and bra comfort were stronger and more reliable
predictors of breast pain than breast displacement in our group of relatively small breasted participants. CONCLUSION : Therefore it is apparent that resultant breast movement and the reduction of such movement is a multifaceted function of breast size, bra design and movement/activity type. The variance in bra performance at different treadmill running speeds highlights this fact and indicates that sports bras should be carefully selected to best suit the activity and breast size of the user.