The incidence of breast health issues and the efficacy of a sports bra fit and issue service in British Army recruits

Jenny Burbage, Alex Rawcliffe, Samantha Saunders, Louise Corfield, Rachel Izard

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Abstract

Increasing retention of female recruits throughout Basic Training (BT) is a key priority for the British Army. The aims of this study were two-fold; (i) quantify breast health issues and sports bra usage within female British Army recruits, and (ii) assess the influence of professionally fitted sports bras on breast health and bra fit issues across 13 weeks of BT. A survey was completed by 246 female recruits that identified the incidence of breast health issues during BT. Subsequently, 33 female recruits were provided with professionally fitted sports bras during Week-1 of BT. Recruits completed a survey in Week-1 (Pre) and Week-13 (Post). There was a high incidence of bra issues during BT, which did not reduce following the implementation of professionally fitted sports bras. The authors recommend further research into the specific functional requirements of breast support relative to the demands of BT and the needs of the female recruit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1061
JournalErgonomics
Volume64
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Military recruits
  • basic training
  • sports bra
  • education
  • women

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