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Breast pain is reportedly experienced by over 70% of women during exercise* and now there is a remedy! Sports bra brand Freya Active has launched a brand new sports bra which has been scientifically proven to reduce breast strain, pain as well as movement.
Featuring a secret protective moulded layer inside which helps to support, give shape and separate the breasts, Freya Active’s brand new sports bra has undergone ground breaking testing in breast research that has never been carried out before.
Freya Active reveals it has been working with the University of Portsmouth, conducting the largest scale breast research project ever. Working with the University’s breast health specialist team, Freya Active has studied how their new sports bra reduces strain, pain and movement, investigating where this occurs most in the breast during exercise. Before now, sports bra testing has commonly focused on breast movement reduction (known as breast bounce), monitoring only one area of the breast (a marker on the nipple), on a small number of participants and usually on small breast size females.
The Freya Active project is world leading research as it is the very first to study the 3 aspects – strain, pain and movement at multiple locations of the breast (applying up to 19 markers on the breast) testing across 7 different bra sizes from cup size participants from a 32FF to 36E.
Strain of the skin and the breast tissues occurs during movement due to the deformable properties of the breast tissue itself. Strain of these tissues may lead to stretching and tension of the skin which may cause pain, damage and breast sag. Other breast problems we experience during exercise can also be a barrier to participating in sport, reducing confidence and changing our breathing and upper muscle activity.
The study tested against 7 other sports bra styles currently available on the market and identified that most breast strain occurred at the centre nipple line and mid-section of the breast. Interestingly, the brand new Freya Active sports bra topped other styles at providing reductions in strain around the centre, base as well as upper pole areas of the breast. The sports bra reduced breast strain in the inner region of the breast to 3%, compared to 28% strain reported in an everyday bra. It also almost eliminated strain at the nipple, reducing strain to just 1%, compared to when wearing no bra, reducing the risk of damage to this area.
Dr. Joanna Scurr, specialist in breast health from the University of Portsmouth who conducted the research said: “Breast strain may occur during exercise when the breast is not supported correctly and there is tension on the ligaments and skin of the breast. Over time this may lead to a stretching of the breasts natural support, which could lead to permanent breast damage. This important research helps us to identify products that are effective at protecting the breasts. Reducing strain across the mid and upper parts of the breast will reduce the risk of damage to the internal structures of the breast.”
The study also revealed when analysing the movement of cup sizes 32FF-36E, the new Freya Active sports bra reduces breast pain by up to 97%, compared to no bra running while an everyday bra reduces pain by only 58%. Participants that took part in the study identified the upper pole area of the breast (located high up on the breast) as a common region of pain. The new Freya Active crop top sports bra ensures this region is supported and encased within the bra, providing effective reduction in breast pain.
Dr Alex Milligan from the University's Breast Health Research Group said: "This latest research is one of the most comprehensive examinations undertaken of breast movement during exercise. The results reveal a great deal more than we knew before about how the breast moves while running and therefore how best to protect and support the breast and its delicate tissue."
Other results from the study revealed that 92% of participants felt that Freya Active’s new sports bra reduced independent breast movement (breast movement within the bra) and it was more effective at reducing forwards and backwards movement in the upper section of the breast than the other sports bra styles tested.
Participants were asked also to provide a score out of 10 for perceived support for all bras tested. Participants rated the new Freya Active sports bra as 20% more supportive than other sports bra styles in this study. Participants also favoured the sleek, sporty shape and high coverage of the bra.
Freya Active’s Design Director Ruth Fox who has over 20 years industry experience said: “After six years of careful development we are extremely excited to launch this sports bra. The bra has been specifically designed to support the fuller bust and is available for larger cup sizes going up to a H cup.”
TV Doctor Pixie McKenna commented about the sports bra research: “Exercise seems like the simple solution when it comes to maintaining good health. While many women are motived to get out and get active, it may surprise you to learn that the thing that often holds them back, are their breasts. While market research tells us that most women experience breast movement during exercise, new ground breaking scientific research has revealed there is a lot more going on over and above breast bounce. It has highlighted that the skin and tissues are under strain during exercise and this can result not only in pain both during and after exercise, but also damage to the breast tissues ultimately resulting in breast sag. Adequate breast support in the form of a sports bra is an essential part of every woman's gym kit. But choose wisely, this research has confirmed that a sports bra needs to not only control movement but also help to reduce strain and pain. Make sure your sports bra ticks all the boxes to enable you to exercise with confidence and in comfort, ensuring you are doing the best for your breasts.”
Freya Active’s new crop top style sports bra which is available from a 34B to 36H cup is available in indigo blue and cosmic black and has been designed to be worn as both under/outwear meaning it is extremely versatile depending on your type of workout. The bra features microfibre fabrics for moisture management with an Odour control finish applied on top. Moreover, it also features a centre front extension for extra support through the top cup to reduce bounce and padded straps with soft folder elastics to avoid rubbing against the skin.
Sports bra of choice by the professionals, the England Netball team only wear Freya Active sports bras.
Freya Active’s new crop top sports bra is £40.00 and available from Leia lingerie, Littlewoods, Less Bounce and Lace lingerie.
-ENDS- *Reported in 72% of exercising females Gehlsen & Albohm
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