Medibank summer 21
News - 19th July 2021

Help researchers understand how breast size impacts women’s health


The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery unit at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide, South Australia is conducting research into the impact of breast size on women’s exercise habits. Dr Claire Baxter, the Head Researcher, explains more about the study and invites women aged over 18 (with no history of breast cancer) to complete a short survey.


While we know that exercise is essential for good health, we also know that for women their breasts may be a source of discomfort during exercise, sometimes to the point of forcing them to be more sedentary than they’d like. I am a keen runner and have struggled with breast movement, chafing and discomfort and remain on the look-out for the perfect sports bra.


I am leading a team of researchers who would like to collect information from a wide range of women to add to the limited body of research looking at the effect of breast size on women’s exercise habits.


We would like to invite women aged 18 and over (and with no history of breast cancer) to take a 10 minute survey to add your experience to the body of research looking at how breast size impacts women’s health.


We want to hear from all women, regardless of your fitness level, exercise habits or breast size. We’re really interested in hearing from you if you have undergone breast reduction surgery or augmentation, to hear about how your exercise habits may have changed with your breast size.


Questions in this study focus not only on breast size, but your overall relationship with your breasts, ranging from how confident and happy you are with their appearance, to whether or not they are the source of any pain or discomfort.


We also ask for some details on your physical activity habits. I want to stress that we are not looking for professional athletes, or limiting our research to women who exercise regularly. With the support of parkrun, we will also consider participation in parkrun events as part of this study. The goal is to hear from women who value a healthy lifestyle and include or would like to include some form of physical activity into their weekly regime. We have also included a number of opportunities to provide comments, and would love to hear about your personal experiences.


This is a study created by women, for women, and is about advocating for a better understanding of our bodies and how they impact our ability to make healthy lifestyle choices. By learning about how breast size may or may not change exercise habits, we can better understand how breast size impacts participation in exercise, performance and overall health.


We’d be grateful if you could find approximately 10 minutes to complete the survey. Remember, you need to be at least 18 years of age and have no history of breast cancer.


Start the survey here.


For more information you can read the detailed information sheet or contact me directly by email.

Dr Claire Baxter (BHsc, MD)
Head Researcher
Flinders Medical Centre

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