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MEET
The Bra Professor

Dr. Jo

Professor, Dr Jo Wakefield-Scurr, PhD, FBASES

As the Bra Professor, I have devoted my entire career to the science of breasts and bras. Being a breast pain sufferer, I was really keen to generate scientific evidence to broaden understanding, inform product development and raise awareness of this under-investigated, under-reported and under-estimated aspect of women’s health. So, in 2005, I established the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth, UK. 

 

Our research was the first to categorise the 3D movement of the breast and identify that it moves in a figure-of-eight pattern. With movement up to 19 cm and acceleration faster than a Formula 1 car, excessive breast movement has the potential to cause damage to breast tissue. We have reported that breast movement changes the way we move, even causing reductions in your running stride of up to 4 cm, which equates to losing a mile over a marathon. We have recorded breast skin stretching to more than double its original length if not properly supported. We also identified that breast pain affects half the UK female population and is a significant barrier to exercise.

Jo profile photo April 2022.jpg

NOW AS A WORLD LEADER IN THE AREA

our research has led to collaborations with all of the major sports apparel brands and lingerie brands around the world, plus bra manufacturers and retailers. Our findings have informed understanding of breast pain treatments within the NHS, helped military recruits chose bras, developed bespoke bras for Olympic athletes and helped the Lionesses optimise their sports bras in the lead up to their European Championship victory. 

I am hugely grateful to the thousands of women who have run, jumped, and swam bare-breasted in the name of science. Their data has helped develop the world’s largest database on the support requirements of the breast and led to me to establish the world’s first sports bra test house to ensure women are getting good quality products that do what they claim to do.

Image by Pablo Heimplatz

My Mission

Based on decades of scientific research, our mission is to draw together credible information and advice for consumers on breasts and bras.

My Passion

I am really passionate about empowering women and girls to talk about and understand their breasts and bras, so in 2014, myself and colleagues established a charitable initiative called Treasure Your Chest, which offers free resources to educate schoolgirls about breasts and bras. We know that 46% of schoolgirls are put off sport because of something to do with their breasts. Our resources have demonstrated improvements in girls’ breast knowledge, attitudes to breasts and engagement with positive breast habits over a sustained period of time.

The bra market has advanced hugely over the last decade, offering women a wider range of solutions and technical innovations. Whilst this market progression is really positive, it also means an increase in choice, which can be confusing. Breast and bra information available to the public can be overwhelming, often conflicting and commonly lacking an evidence-base. I believe there is an opportunity to cut through the noise and offer accurate, evidence-based advice.

I have been lucky enough to be involved in a large amount of media coverage over the last two decades. I believe this is a really important part of my job; it enables the dissemination of scientific, evidence-based data to the public and raises awareness of this important aspect of women’s health. 

Media

Research

2023/22
2021/20
2019/18
2017/16
2015/14
Older

Tackling breast issues in contact sports Wakefield-Scurr, J., Saynor, Z. L. & Wilson, F., 5 Jul 2023, (Early online) In: British Journal of Sports Medicine.

A multi-phase intervention study of sports bra prescription for elite UK female athletes preparing for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Wakefield-scurr, J., Sanchez, A., Jones, M., Hockley, L., Biswas, A., Johnson, F. & Roberts, E., 16 Jun 2022, (Early online) In: Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal. 15 p.

 

A multi-stage intervention assessing, advising and customising sports bras for elite female British athletes Wakefield-Scurr, J., Sanchez, A. & Jones, M., 14 Feb 2022, (Early online) In: Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal.

 

Can we predict the neutral breast position using the gravity-loaded breast position, age, anthropometrics and breast composition data? Norris, M., O'Neill, A., Blackmore, T., Mills, C., Sanchez, A., Brown, N. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 1 Oct 2022, In: Clinical Biomechanics. 99, 11 p., 105760.

 

The effect of washing and wearing on sports bra function Wakefield-Scurr, J., Hamilton, C., Reeves, K., Jones, M. & Jones, B., 1 Mar 2022, (Early online) In: Sports Biomechanics.

A novel multi-study intervention investigating the short and long term effects of a posture bra on whole body and breast kinematics Jones, M., Mills, C., Exell, T. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 1 Jan 2021, In: Gait and Posture. 83, p. 194-200

 

Sports bra use, preferences and fit issues among exercising females in the US, UK and China

Brown, N., Burbage, J. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 29 Jun 2021, In: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. 25, 3, p. 511-527 17 p.

 

Breast education improves adolescent girls' breast knowledge, attitudes to breasts and engagement with positive breast habits Omrani, A., Wakefield-Scurr, J., Smith, J., Wadley, R. & Brown, N., 30 Oct 2020, In: Frontiers in Public Health. 8, 17 p., 591927.

 

Do static and dynamic activities induce potentially damaging breast skin strain?

Norris, M., Mills, C., Sanchez, A. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 14 Jul 2020, In: BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine. 6, 1, 10 p., e000770.

 

How the characteristics of sports bras affect their performance

Norris, M., Blackmore, T., Horler, B. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 15 Oct 2020, (Early online) In: Ergonomics. 16 p.

The development and psychometric properties of a survey to assess breast knowledge and attitudes of adolescent girls Omrani, A., Wakefield-Scurr, J., Smith, J. & Brown, N., 31 Dec 2019, In: American Journal of Health Education. 50, 6, p. 374-389 16 p.

 

The kinematics of breasts implanted with a reduced mass implant: a pilot study

Norris, M., Jones, M., Mills, C., Blackmore, T., Inglefield, C. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 30 Aug 2019, (Early online) In: Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

 

There are two sides to every story: implications of asymmetry on breast support requirements for sports bra manufacturers Exell, T. A., Milligan, A., Burbage, J., Risius, D., Sanchez, A., Horler, B., Mills, C. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 14 Jun 2019, (Early online) In: Sports Biomechanics. 13 p.

 

Survey development for adolescents aged 11–16 years: a developmental science based guide

Omrani, A., Wakefield-Scurr, J., Smith, J. & Brown, N., 5 Jul 2018, (Early online) In: Adolescent Research Review.

 

Wearing an ill-fitting bra isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s bad for your health

Wakefield-Scurr, J., 15 Aug 2018, The Conversation.

Breast cancer education for schoolgirls: an exploratory study

Brown, N., Smith, J., Brasher, A., Omrani, A. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 30 Mar 2017, (Early online) In: European Journal of Cancer Prevention.

 

Breast education for schoolgirls; why, what, when and how?

Brown, N., Smith, J., Brasher, A., Risius, D. J., Marczyk, A. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 15 Nov 2017, (Early online) In: The Breast Journal.

 

Quantification of gravity-induced skin strain across the breast surface

Sanchez, A., Mills, C., Haake, S., Norris, M. & Scurr, J., 1 Dec 2017, In: Clinical Biomechanics. 50, p. 47-55 9 p., 0.

 

The appropriateness of an improved diary for the assessment of pre-menstrual mastalgia

Sharland, E., Burbage, J. & Wakefield-Scurr, J., 9 Jun 2017, (Early online) In: Indian Journal of Surgery.

 

Breasts are getting bigger: where is the evidence?

Brown, N. & Scurr, J. C., 20 Jun 2016, In: Journal of Anthropological Sciences. 94, p. 1-8 9 p.

 

Do women with smaller breasts perform better in long-distance running?

Brown, N. & Scurr, J., Aug 2016, In: European Journal of Sport Science. 16, 8, p. 965-971

 

Estimating the gravity induced three dimensional deformation of the breast

Mills, C., Sanchez, A. & Scurr, J., Dec 2016, In: Journal of Biomechanics. 49, 16, p. 4134-4137

 

Is breast pain greater in active females compared to the general population in the UK?

Brown, N., Burnett, E. & Scurr, J. C., Mar 2016, In: The Breast Journal. 22, 2, p. 194-201

 

The influence of the breast on sport and exercise participation in school girls in the United Kingdom Scurr, J., Brown, N., Smith, J., Brasher, A., Risius, D. & Marczyk, A., 1 Feb 2016, In: Journal of Adolescent Health. 58, 2, p. 167-173

 

Trunk marker sets and the subsequent calculation of trunk and breast kinematics during treadmill running Mills, C., Loveridge, A., Milligan, A. & Scurr, J., 20 Jun 2016, In: Textile Research Journal. 86, 11, p. 1128-1136

 

Understanding key performance indicators for breast support: an analysis of breast support effects on biomechanical, physiological and subjective measures during running

Risius, D., Milligan, A., Berns, J., Brown, N. & Scurr, J., Jun 2016, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 35, 9, p. 842-851

Acute changes in clinical breast measurements following bra removal: implications for surgical practice Scurr, J., Loveridge, A., Brown, N. & Mills, C., 2015, In: JPRAS Open. 3, p. 22-25

 

Breast motion asymmetry during running Mills, C., Risius, D. & Scurr, J., 2015, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 33, 7, p. 746-753

 

Breast support garments are ineffective at reducing breast motion during an aqua aerobics jumping exercise

Mills, C., Ayres, B. & Scurr, J. C., Jun 2015, In: Journal of Human Kinetics. 46, p. 49-58

 

Magnitude of multiplanar breast kinematics differs depending upon run distance

Milligan, A., Mills, C., Corbett, J. & Scurr, J., 2015, In: Journal of Sports Sciences.

 

Multiplanar breast kinematics during different exercise modalities

Risius, D., Milligan, A., Mills, C. & Scurr, J., 2015, In: European Journal of Sport Science. 15, 2, p. 111-117

 

 

The effect of breast support and breast pain on upper-extremity kinematics during running: implications for females with large breasts White, J., Mills, C., Ball, N. & Scurr, J., 2015, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 33, 19, p. 2043-2050

 

The influence of breast support on torso, pelvis and arm kinematics during a five kilometer treadmill run Milligan, A., Mills, C., Corbett, J. & Scurr, J., Aug 2015, In: Human Movement Science. 42, p. 246-260

 

The influence of the breast on physical activity participation in females

Burnett, E., White, J. & Scurr, J., Apr 2015, In: Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 12, 4, p. 588-594

 

The movement of the trunk and breast during front crawl and breaststroke swimming

Mills, C., Lomax, M., Ayres, B. & Scurr, J., 2015, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 33, 4, p. 427-436

 

 

An investigation into breast support and sports bra use in female runners of the 2012 London Marathon Brown, N., White, J., Brasher, A. & Scurr, J., 1 Jun 2014, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 32, 9, p. 801-809 9 p.

 

Can axes conventions of the trunk reference frame influence breast displacement calculation during running? Mills, C., Loveridge, A., Milligan, A., Risius, D. & Scurr, J., 22 Jan 2014, In: Journal of Biomechanics. 47, 2, p. 575-578 4 p.

 

Is torso soft tissue motion really an artefact within breast biomechanics research?

Mills, C., Loveridge, A., Milligan, A., Risius, D. & Scurr, J., 22 Aug 2014, In: Journal of Biomechanics. 47, 11, p. 2606-2610

 

The effect of breast support on upper body muscle activity during 5km treadmill running

Milligan, A., Mills, C. & Scurr, J., 1 Dec 2014, In: Human Movement Science. 38, p. 74-83

 

 

The experience of breast pain (mastalgia) in female runners of the 2012 London Marathon and its effect on exercise behaviour Brown, N., White, J., Brasher, A. & Scurr, J., Feb 2014, In: British Journal of Sports Medicine. 48, 4, p. 320-325

 

The influence of ageing on bra preferences and self-perception of breasts among mature women

Risius, D., Thelwell, R., Wagstaff, C. & Scurr, J., Sep 2014, In: European Journal of Ageing. 11, 3, p. 233-240

 

The prevalence, severity, and impact of breast pain in the general population

Scurr, J., Hedger, W., Morris, P. & Brown, N., 1 Sep 2014, In: The Breast Journal. 20, 5, p. 508-513

 

Within-participant variance in multiplanar breast kinematics during 5 km Treadmill running

Milligan, A., Mills, C. & Scurr, J., 1 Apr 2014, In: Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 30, 2, p. 244-249

Can measures of strain and acceleration be used to predict breast discomfort during running?

Haake, S., Milligan, A. & Scurr, J., Sep 2013, In: Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part P: Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology. 227, 3, p. 209-216 8 p.

 

 

Female upper body and breast skin temperature and thermal comfort following exercise

Ayres, B., White, J., Hedger, W. & Scurr, J., 2013, In: Ergonomics. 56, 7, p. 1194-1202 9 p.

 

 

Evaluation of professional bra fitting criteria for bra selection and fitting in the UK

White, J. & Scurr, J., Jun 2012, In: Ergonomics. 55, 6, p. 704-711 8 p.

 

Influential factors of bra purchasing in older women

Risius, D., Thelwell, R., Wagstaff, C. & Scurr, J., 2012, In: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. 16, 3, p. 366-380 15 p.

 

Predictors of three-dimensional breast kinematics during bare-breasted running

Wood, L., White, J., Milligan, A., Ayres, B., Hedger, W. & Scurr, J., Jul 2012, In: Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise. 44, 7, p. 1351-1357 7 p.

 

The need for a standardised anthropometric protocol for objective assessment of pre- and postoperative breast surgery

Brown, N. & Scurr, J., Nov 2012, In: Gland Surgery. 1, 3, p. 142-145 4 p.

 

The relationship between breast size and anthropometric characteristics

Brown, N., White, J., Milligan, A., Risius, D., Ayres, B., Hedger, W. & Scurr, J., 2012, In: American Journal of Human Biology. 24, 2, p. 158-164 7 p.

 

A comparison of three-dimensional breast displacement and breast comfort during overground and treadmill running

White, J., Scurr, J. & Hedger, W., Feb 2011, In: Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 27, 1, p. 47-53 7 p.

 

A method to estimate strain in the breast during exercise

Haake, S. & Scurr, J., 2011, In: Sports Engineering. 14, 1, p. 49-56 8 p.

 

A protocol for monitoring soft tissue motion under compression garments during drop landings

Mills, C., Scurr, J. & Wood, L., Jun 2011, In: Journal of Biomechanics. 44, 9, p. 1821-1823 3 p.

 

 

Supported and unsupported breast displacement in three-dimensions during treadmill activity

Scurr, J., White, J. & Hedger, W., 2011, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 29, 1, p. 55-61 7 p.

 

 

A dynamic model of the breast during exercise

Haake, S. & Scurr, J., 2010, In: Sports Engineering. 12, 4, p. 189-197 9 p.

 

 

The effect of breast support on the kinematics of the breast during the running gait cycle

Scurr, J., White, J. & Hedger, W., Aug 2010, In: Journal of Sports Sciences. 28, 10, p. 1103-1109 7 p.

 

Three-dimensional kinematics of the breast during a two-step star jump

Bridgeman, C., Scurr, J., White, J., Hedger, W. & Galbraith, H., 2010, In: Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 26, 4, p. 465-472 8 p.

 

 

Breast displacement in three dimensions during the walking and running gait cycle

Scurr, J., White, J. & Hedger, W., 2009, In: Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 25, 4, p. 322-329 8 p.

 

The effect of breast support on kinetics during overground running performance

White, J., Scurr, J. & Smith, N., 2009, In: Ergonomics. 52, 4, p. 492-498 7 p.

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