Evidence Strong Logo

Evidence Strong

Does breast size affect physical activity?

Summary of an article analyzing whether the size of the breast affects how women participate in physical activity.

Who

355 women aged 42.3 (±18.4) (range 18-75) years (Australia).

Design

Cross-sectional study.

Outcome measures/tests

  • The Active Australia Survey.
  • Breast scans: breast volume.

Main results

  • Participants were divided into 4 breast sizes:
    • small (breast volume <350 ml, n = 98)
    • medium (breast volume 350-700 ml, n = 132)
    • large (breast volume 701-1200 ml, n = 82) and
    • hypertrophic (breast volume >1200 ml, n = 43)
  • BMI in breast size groups was:
    • small: 87% within “normal” BMI
    • medium: 49% within “normal” BMI
    • large: 54% within “obese” BMI
    • hypertrophic: 77% within “obese” BMI
  • Physical activity participation by breast size:
    • small breast group spent more time in physical activity than hypertrophic breast group
    • small breast group spent more time in vigorous physical activity than the large or hypertrophic group
    • no difference in time spent in moderate physical activity
    • Percentage of women reporting that breast size negatively affects their physical activity participation increased with breast size. The most affected activities were: running/jogging, aerobics/dance/jumping/gym, and team sports/basketball/netball.

Take home message

For a clinician
Large and hypertrophic breast size can negatively affect the duration and intensity of physical activity. Breast support may be advisable.
For a parent
Large and hypertrophic breast size can negatively affect the duration and intensity of physical activity. A well-fitted sports bra can help.
For an athlete
If you are an athlete with bigger breasts, a well-fitted sports bra can help you with achieving high levels of physical activity.

Original article

Coltman CE, Steele JR, McGhee DE. Does breast size affect how women participate in physical activity?. Journal of science and medicine in sport. 2019 Mar 1;22(3):324-9.

© 2020, built by @ognus
To the top