Berlei and the AIS — providing support for women everywhere
It is not just elite athletes who require the correct exercise wear when working out. Research is being conducted by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in conjunction with corporate sponsor Berlei to determine how effective the correct sports bra can be.
Berlei is the official sports bra supplier to the AIS and is one of a number of corporate sponsors who, through their alignment with the AIS, are giving athletes access to cutting-edge products. This six-year commercial partnership has produced insightful research into the importance of wearing the most supportive bra while training in order to reduce potential breast tissue damage resulting from not wearing the correct bra while training.
Berlei sports bras are carefully tested for performance and bounce reduction by AIS Biomechanics. Bounce reduction is measured by determining the degree of bounce experienced by women wearing Berlei sports bras while enduring differing levels of impact, compared to the bounce experienced for the same activity with no bra at all.
‘Our researchers look at the bounce under a range of conditions, from unsupported through to the most supportive bra, and in recent testing we found that a 12D breast motion can be reduced by 50 per cent by using the right bra,’ said Dr Nick Brown, Deputy Director for Research and Applied Science at the AIS.
The biomechanical testing involves the use of motion sensor markers on the shoulders, breasts and chest. This allows for movement to be measured at various stages of walking, jogging and running.
Adele Kershaw, head designer for Berlei Sport, said that with the help of this testing by the AIS, they can identify the needs of female exercisers and ensure that they develop a product that will provide the optimal amount of support for all levels of fitness. The latest bra concentrates on smaller sized women who, it has been identified, can have movement of up to eight centimetres.
So how do you choose the right support for you?
Simply follow these steps suggested by Adele and you will be supported for life.
Choosing the right sports bra
- Choose the right Support Factor (SF) rating to suit each activity or sport.
Support Factor 2 — ideal for medium impact activities such as walking, yoga, etc, and can reduce breast bounce by 45–50 per cent.
Support Factor 3 — designed for high impact activities such as running, netball and soccer, and can reduce breast bounce by over 50 per cent.
Support Factor 4 — designed for extreme impact activities such as long distance running, kickboxing and athletics, and can reduce breast bounce by up to 60 per cent.
- Be professionally fitted to ensure you are wearing the correct size bra.
- If you are on a weight loss plan, get refitted regularly (for example, every three months) to ensure you are still getting optimum support.
- With regular use and washing, replace your sports bras approximately every six months.
- If you perspire a lot during exercise, look for moisture wicking fabric to reduce chafing and irritation.