Bras do nothing to help support a woman’s breasts and could even be causing damage, research has found.
The Telegraph of London reported on Friday that for years, women have been taught of the virtues of a good bra in order to make the most of their assets and defy the pull of gravity.
Now a French study has claimed that breasts gain no benefit from underwear support and that women would do better to go without them.
Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon of Besançon University spent 15 years studying the anatomy of 330 women, before coming to the conclusion that bras are a “false necessity.”
Professor Rouillon said: “Medically, physiologically and anatomically, breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity.”
The study found that breasts were firmer and sagged less in the women who did not wear a bra, and such women were no more likely than others to suffer from back pain.
The sports scientist, who has been researching the subject since 1997, using a slide rule and a caliper, found a 7mm difference in the height of bosoms; with those who went without a bra faring best against gravity.
Professor Rouillon suggested that breasts become “dependent” on lingerie support once women start wearing it, meaning that supporting muscle is under-used and degrades more quickly.
He said his initial results “validated the hypothesis that the bra is a false ‘necessity’” but that he would not advise women who have relied on bras for years to cast them aside.”
Some of the women who took part in the experiment, carried out at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (University Hospital) in Besançon, said stopping wearing a bra had even helped ease back pains.
British research on post-menopausal women has previously suggested that those who wear a bra are more likely to suffer breast pain.