Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Physics of Bras

All you guys that never matured beyond the "Beavis and Butthead" stage (heh heh heh boobies heh heh heh) can skip this post. This is some serious woman business.

Discover magazine reports on an increasing (sorry) problem:
Poor eating habits, as well as breast implants and the estrogens in birth-control pills, have led to an increase in the past 15 years of more than one bra size for the average American woman—from a 34B to a 36C. For many women, this has been a burdensome trend. A pair of D-cup breasts weighs between 15 and 23 pounds—the equivalent of carrying around two small turkeys. The larger the breasts, the more they move and the greater the discomfort. In one study, 56 percent of women suffered from breast pain when jogging.
The larger the breasts and the more they move, the more momentum they generate. To change or stop that momentum requires a large force, usually applied through bra straps. When straps are thin, the pressure exerted through them can be so great as to leave furrows in the shoulders of large-breasted women. As the straps dig into the brachial plexus, the nerve group that runs down the arm, they may cause numbness in the little finger. In some cases, breasts can slap against the chest with enough force to break the clavicle.
A team in Australia is trying to remedy this problem by studying the physics of breast movement in order to design a better bra.

I never really understood why some women intentionally get super enormous breast implants. OK, I do understand why; it's all about the $$. I wonder, though, if it's worth the back pain and inability to jog down the block without getting bonked on the chin. I look forward to the outcome of this research.

(via Improbable Research)

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