Sports bra preferences by age and impact of breast size on physical activity among american females

Katherine H. Rizzone, Bianca Edison, Nailah Coleman, Cordelia Carter, Ingrid Ichesco, Paige Cassidy, Jane Chung, Courtney Marie Cora Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


For many females, sports bras are an essential piece of equipment for participation in sports and physical activity. Breast pain or discomfort from lack of support may be a contributing factor to the noted gender disparity in physical activity of females compared to males. Our objective was to evaluate sports bra usage and characterize sports bra preferences of an active female cohort. This multicenter cross-sectional survey study was conducted at five geographically distinct academic centers. Our measure was administered during outpatient sports medicine clinic visits to females aged 11–64 years old. Chi-square tests were used to compare characteristics across subgroups. Our analysis consisted of 438 respondents, with a mean age of 22 ± 12.2 years. More than a quarter (27.4%) reported lack of breast support prevented them from being active or exercising. Age (p = 0.03), breast size (p < 0.0001), and household income (p = 0.01) were significantly associated with greater frequency of physical activity being limited by lack of breast support. Lack of breast support may be an important barrier for young females of specific populations to meeting physical activity recommendations. Further research is needed to improve the understanding of this important piece of sporting equipment for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12732
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Female athlete
  • Physical activity
  • Sporting equipment
  • Sports bra

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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