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Bigger breasts are a barrier to regular exercise, research finds

A recent study investigating how breast size impacts the exercise habits of women has discovered that those who’ve undergone breast reduction surgery are living healthier and more active lives.

For many Australian women, having big breasts isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

A new study out of Flinders University found that busty women believe breast reduction surgery would lead to a more healthy and active lifestyle.

What’s more, all 56 women in the study who’d undergone a reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, are living proof.

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Researchers quizzed close to 2000 women involved in the Parkrun program here in Australia, and also in the UK and South Africa, and found the bustier participants exercised less frequently and avoided high-intensity workouts.

„Women who had undergone breast reduction reported increased overall frequency, enjoyment and willingness to exercise in a group,“ Dr Claire Baxter, the study’s lead author, and a clinical registrar in reconstructive surgery at the Flinders Medical Centre, told Science Daily.

„Our study found that breast size affects exercise habits and that breast reduction surgery changes their willingness to exercise.“

Nicola Dean, a Flinders University associate professor, believes these findings prove the importance of Australian Federal Government subsidised mammoplasty surgeries because it will only benefit our health system in the long run.

With the extensive state-based requirements, the waitlist can be long, and even women in dire need might not get the stamp of approval.

„For example, there are body mass index (BMI) restrictions in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania which can lead to waiting times of 12 months or more,” Prof Dean explained, adding that the issue is an international one, too.

An interesting requirement given the struggle these women encounter trying to exercise.

„In the UK, breast reduction surgery via the National Health Service varies across locations, resulting in a ‚postcode lottery‘ as breast reduction is considered a lower priority procedure.“

For some, the pain that comes with big breasts can be debilitating with back pain and sore necks common complaints, not to mention the battle to find a bra that actually offers the support you need. 

Participants were quizzed on their cup size “satisfaction levels”, and what researchers learnt was that AA, A, B and C cup ladies were generally happier than women who carried DD, E, F, G and H or greater breasts.

„The benefits of breast reduction surgery need more awareness and academic support,“ Dr Baxter concluded.

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