Researchers are combining wearable tech and fitness gear to bring you the best bra for any workout

By Rachael Schultz
December 12, 2014
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The idea of a sports bra is simple: Provide enough support to ban the bounce without compromising comfort. Executing that idea, though, seems to be pretty difficult-until now. (Check out the 5 Tips to Find the Perfect Sports Bra.) Scientists at Australia's University of Wollongong are working on a bionic bra that automatically adjusts to resist the push and pull your breasts endure during sprints and jumps.

Other companies have tried to tackle smart sports bras too: Sensoria and Adidas both offer sports bras that are not only supportive but have sensors embedded to attach your heart rate monitor too, marrying the often overlapping-and often uncomfortable-heart rate strap and bra elastic.

The bionic bra, though, is sure to blow away all competition when it comes to support: 15 years in the making, the bra uses novel actuators and sensing technologies to come to life and tighten in response to the way your breasts move.

Think computers in your undergarments sound a little unnecessary? You may need it more than you think: Research from the University of Wollongong's Breast Research Australia reports that 85 percent of women are wearing bras that don't fit or support their breasts correctly. Nearly one in five women say their breasts prevent them from participating in physical activity, according to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health. And inadequate support can actually lead to long-term damage, including neck pain, back pain, and even numbness in the fingers caused by compression of nerves on the shoulders, said Julie Steele, co-developer of the bionic bra and director of Breast Research Australia.

This bra will answer the woes of so many women, but it's still a few years away from being available for purchase. So while the Australian researchers work out all the kinks, though, find the Best Sports Bras for Your Cup Size.

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