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Women experience needless breast pain when horse-riding

Better-fitting sports bras could ease breast pain suffered by two in five female horse-riders.
Female horse-riding

Although 40% of women suffer breast pain while riding horses, fewer than one in five bother wearing a sports bra.

A survey of 1,324 women riders by the University of Portsmouth and Sparsholt College, Hampshire, found badly fitting bras a discomfort for both rider and horse.

A correctly fitting bra for exercise is essential, said lead author Dr Jenny Burbage.

Breast pain was experienced most frequently during the sitting trot, with 21 per cent of those suffering discomfort saying it also affected the horses performance.

Better education is needed on bra fit and breast support, said Dr Burbage, especially for women with large breasts. Previous research suggests 70% of women wear the wrong-sized bra.

Only 14% of small-breasted riders and 19% of large-breasted riders opted to exclusively wear a sports bra, compared to 82% and 91% of marathon runners.

...

Although 40% of women suffer breast pain while riding horses, fewer than one in five bother wearing a sports bra.

Female horseriding
Picture: Alamy

A survey of 1,324 women riders by the University of Portsmouth and Sparsholt College, Hampshire, found badly fitting bras a discomfort for both rider and horse.

‘A correctly fitting bra for exercise is essential,’ said lead author Dr Jenny Burbage.

Breast pain was experienced most frequently during the sitting trot, with 21 per cent of those suffering discomfort saying it also affected the horse’s performance. 

Better education is needed on bra fit and breast support, said Dr Burbage, especially for women with large breasts. Previous research suggests 70% of women wear the wrong-sized bra.

Only 14% of small-breasted riders and 19% of large-breasted riders opted to exclusively wear a sports bra, compared to 82% and 91% of marathon runners.

 

Burbage J, Cameron L (2016) An investigation into the prevalence and impact of breast pain, bra issues and breast size on female horse riders. Journal of Sports Sciences. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1210818

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