When You Wear A Sports Bra Every Day, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Athleisure wear has been on the rise, and it shows little signs of stopping, with one report estimating that the athleisure market will increase by $80 billion by 2024 (via technavio). Hand in hand with wearing more relaxed clothing is wearing a sports bra daily instead of just for athletic activities (via Outside). But what happens when you wear a sports bra all day, every day?

Designers used to think that, for a sports bra keep your ta-tas in place while you were working out, it would have to be uncomfortable. Julianne Ruckman, Brooks' senior product-line manager for women's apparel, told Outside. "We used to fit bras by cranking [the measuring tape] as tight as possible without breaking a rib." Times are changing, and there are more sports bra varieties to choose from that do not sacrifice comfort for performance.

There can be a benefit to wearing a sports bra to provide support for your breasts in day-to-day life as compared to going bra-free entirely. Jené Luciani Sena, author of "The Bra Book," revealed one potential benefit of support: "Our breasts are made up of ligaments and tissue. Over time, that movement of going up and down contributes to the stretching in that area," she told Real Simple. "Most women don't want to have saggy breasts; not only for aesthetic reasons, but a comfort reason. It can be painful!"

Don't wear a high-impact compression sports bra all day

However, a sports bra that's designed for a high-impact activity like running and jumping will inherently be tighter than one designed for low-impact activities, like walking. And if you are spending all day in a high-compression sports bra, that could lead to discomfort and reduced circulation (via Knix). It really all comes down to the fit.

The biggest issue is really if you are wearing an ill-fitting sports bra. "Not enough support, and the continuous compression of muscles in the neck like the upper traps, levator scapulae, and pectoral muscles can cause chronic postural overload," Emily Kiberd, a chiropractor, told Vogue. "This will place excess strain on the structures of the neck leading to tension headaches; muscle tightness; short, shallow breathing; anxiety; and nerve pain."

A too-tight sports bra could also potentially lead to skin problems. Dr. Tutela told Real Simple, "Any tighter compressive garment that isn't taken off can lead to some irritation such as a rash, and even a fungal infection." So if you do not need the compression and support of a high-impact sports bra all day, try out a low-impact style or a bralette to get many of the same benefits without the discomfort.