A novel multi-study intervention investigating the short and long term effects of a posture bra on whole body and breast kinematics

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Background: Poor standing posture has been reported in women with larger breasts, increasing the risk of back pain. Whilst breast reduction surgery can improve posture, conservative measures such as special bras may offer short or long-term relief of symptoms without surgical intervention.

Research question: This study aimed to utilise a multi-study intervention to investigate the short and long-term kinematic effects of wearing a posture bra.

Methods: Study one utilised biomechanics and physiotherapy expertise to modify the design of a prototype bra to improve posture and breast kinematics; resulting in a second-generation posture bra. To test this bra, 24 females were randomly assigned to control and intervention groups. The control group wore their everyday bra; the intervention group wore the generation 2 posture bra in place of their everyday bra for three months. Pre and post intervention, posture (spine curvature, scapula position, whole body alignment) and breast kinematics were assessed during sitting, standing and walking. Short-term effects of the posture bra were compared to an everyday bra and no bra (study two), whilst the long-term effects were compared using the no bra condition (study three).

Results: Biomechanical intervention improved posture and breast kinematics in a prototype posture bra resulting in a second-generation prototype. Pre-intervention, the generation 2 posture bra significantly improved scapula retraction by 6° during both sitting and standing, but also increased deviation of whole body alignment compared to everyday bra and no bra conditions. During walking the posture bra reduced breast motion by 17% compared to the everyday bra. Following the three-month wearer intervention, scapula depression significantly improved in the intervention group.

Significance: A biomechanically informed posture bra was able to effectively support the breasts and improve scapula position without compromising spinal curvature, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal pain associated with poor posture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
JournalGait and Posture
Early online date4 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • spine curvature
  • prototype development
  • biomechanics
  • breast support


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