• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Women better off without bras: French study
Women pose during a promotional shoot for a new brand by Wonderbra in Madrid in 2007. Photo: Bru Garcia/AFP

Women better off without bras: French study

Dan MacGuill · 11 Apr 2013, 09:00

Published: 11 Apr 2013 09:00 GMT+02:00

The results of a mammoth 15-year study led by professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, from the University of Besançon in eastern France, are finally in and it looks like conventional wisdom about bras and back pain has been way off the mark.

According to Rouillon, a sports science expert, the lesson to be learned from the preliminary results of his marathon experiment is that “bras are a false necessity”.

“Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra,” Professor Rouillon told France Info radio on Wednesday.

Using a slide rule and caliper, Rouillon spent years carefully measuring changes in the orientation of breasts belonging to hundreds of women, at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (University Hospital) in Besançon.

All the women involved in the study were aged between 18 and 35, although the professor was keen to stress that the group were not a representative of the global population of females.

After regularly measuring women who were not wearing bras the scientists concluded that "on average their nipples lifted on average seven millimetres in one year in relation to the shoulders."

Dr Jean Denis ROUILLON

Jean-Denis Rouillon (Photo courtesy of Osteopaths de France)

See also: Women around the world react to controversial bra study.

Capucine, a 28-year-old woman who participated in the professor's in-depth study, hasn’t worn a bra for two years, and swears by the results.

“There are multiple benefits: I breathe more easily, I carry myself better, and I have less back pain,” Capucine told France Info.

Despite the groundbreaking results of his study Rouillon advised certain women not to immediately throw away all their bras in the bin.

"It would be of no benefit to a 45-year-old mother to stop wearing a bra," he warned.

See also: France lifts 200-year-old trouser ban on women

Speaking to The Local, Rouillon sought to emphasise the provisional nature of his data.

“These are preliminary results,” Dr. Rouillon said. “The small sample of 320 young women is not representative of the entire population – that would require something like 300,000 subjects.”

However, Dr. Rouillon did confirm that the initial data indicated that when young women stopped wearing a bra, there was no disimprovement in the orientation of their breasts, and in fact, there was widespread improvement.

Story continues below…

“Of course, this is not the only factor to consider when deciding whether or not wear a bra – for example, many women simply find them very comfortable, especially in winter,” Rouillon acknowledged.

Ultimately, however, he feels his work is not complete, since the findings are not definitive.

“We will simply have to recruit a larger sample of the female population, and conduct further research,” Rouillon added.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France charges Charlie Hebdo killer’s relative
The suspect was charged after being handed over to French authorities by Bulgaria. Dimitar Dilkoff /AFP

The brother-in-law of one of the jihadists who attacked French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last year faced terrorism charges on Saturday for allegedly trying to join Islamic State fighters in Syria, a judicial source said.

French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet /AFP

The row over France’s burqini ban continues with several mayors vowing to keep restrictions in place despite the country’s top court suspending the ban in the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,753
jobs available