Who says silicon and breasts don’t mix? Not bra manufacturer Bali. Applying Ergonomics to the age old problem of ill-fitted bras, the undergarment manufacturer has designed equipment that gets the job done comfortably, with a little help from silicon.
Fitting equipment to the user is fundamental in the science of ergonomics and can help reduce or eliminate risk factors that can cause injury. Unfortunately, getting the equipment to fit is what Bali says 70% of American women are missing. Contact stress from bra shoulder straps is, according to Bali, a major issue for many women.
The primary reason a poor bra fit becomes an issue is because women are not using the bra’s shoulder straps correctly. One of the biggest mistakes women make is using bra straps to provide support. Straps, said fit expert Teresa Wise in an interview with Reuters, are simply there to help shape the cup of the bra. The back and side bands are designed for support.
Bali’s research suggested that seven in ten women in the U.S. wear incorrectly sized bras. This results in lack of support, discomfort and in some cases bruising and injury. To address this, Bali has incorporated ergonomics into its bra design.
Bali’s new “Shoulder Spa” bra, designed for full-figured women, incorporates technology formerly found in shoe insteps. According to the manufacturer, the ergonomically designed bra includes cushioned s-shaped silicon gel straps, and claims to reduce the contact stress to the shoulder.
Bali saw good ergonomics in their design not only as an opportunity to provide customers with a better product, but also as a bottom line bolster. Introduced in January, the Shoulder Spa bra has become one of the top-10 selling styles in the U.S., a key factor for a company that claims nearly one-third of the U.S. bra market.
For tips on getting the right fit, women may go to the Bali website, or any Bali retail store.
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2002-09-01.