The Influence of the Breast on Sport and Exercise Participation in School Girls in the United Kingdom

Scurr, Joanna and Brown, Nicola and Smith, Jenny and Brasher, Amanda and Risius, Debbie and Marczyk, Anna (2016) The Influence of the Breast on Sport and Exercise Participation in School Girls in the United Kingdom. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58 (2). pp. 167-173. ISSN 1054-139X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2015.10.005

Abstract

Purpose - Emerging evidence suggests that breasts may be a barrier to physical activity for adult females. With only 12% of the UK 14-year-old girls achieving exercise guidelines, to understand deterrents to exercise in this population, we should consider whether breasts may also influence sport and exercise participation in school girls. This survey-based study investigated the influence of the breast on sport and exercise participation and breast-specific concerns in the UK school girls. Methods - A survey was developed to assess demographics, breast characteristics, breast-specific concerns in sports, breast knowledge, views on breast education, and sport participation. Chi-squared tests assessed associations between participation and breast size, sports bra use, and breast concerns. Results - Two thousand eighty-nine school girls aged 11–18 years completed the survey, for 97 their breasts had begun developing and 96% reported wearing breast support. Forty-six percent of girls reported that their breasts had some effect on their participation in compulsory sports and exercise, which was more prevalent in girls aged 13–14 years (51%) and in larger-breasted girls (63%). More than 50% reported never wearing a sports bra during sports. Breast concerns were high with 73% reporting ≥1 breast-specific concern in sports; with breast bounce being most prevalent (38%). Conclusions - As most of the breast concerns raised in this survey could be addressed via education and 87% of girls wanted to know more about breasts, this study demonstrates a need for breast education for school girls, which may reduce the influence of the breast on sport and exercise participation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: 600 Technology > 612 Human physiology
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts; recreation > 796 Athletic & outdoor sports & games
School/Department: School of Sport, Health and Applied Science
Depositing User: Jonathan Lucas
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 10:10
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2016 16:12
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/967

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