Is it time to bin your bra?

London - The public ditching of one’s support act has become a trend among stars, including Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr and Gwyneth Paltrow.

And while we’ve all heard horror stories of what will happen if we plump for bralessness – breasts that swing down below our knees, back pain that could land us in hospital – new research suggests that wearing a bra could contribute to these problems.

Kim Kardashian has appeared braless in public several times in recent months, so more stars are following suit. Here, she arrives at the 22nd Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP. Credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Contrary to popular belief, wearing a bra doesn’t prevent sagging or relieve back pain, according to a study carried out over 15 years in France.

Researchers at the University of Besançon found that not wearing a bra increased the strength of the breast muscles, which resulted in their sagging less over time.

Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon, who led the study, said he believed the “absence of a bra could keep breasts in shape” and prevent backache.

He explained: “The decision not to a wear a bra appeals to women in terms of comfort and aesthetics. Contrary to popular belief, the breast does not fall, but tightens and lifts, and the quality of the skin improves.”’

Rouillon said 42 percent of the women “felt discomfort” for the first three months of not wearing a bra, but then it disappeared. None were in pain, however, nor were they hampered from doing daily activities, including sport.

But don’t set your bra alight just yet. Despite his findings, Rouillon said women should not get rid of their bras. His study involved only a small number of women, and the long-term effects of not wearing a bra are unknown.

Previous research has shown that women who do not wear a sports bra while exercising could be damaging their breasts. The ligaments that support the breasts are not elastic, and can be irreversibly stretched when the breasts bounce during repetitive or high-impact sports.

(Luckily, high-energy activity at award ceremonies is kept to a minimum, so celebrities remain safe when they go braless for the red carpet.)

And apart from health effects, a lack of support can do damage to your career: research carried out by the Centre for Talent Innovation discovered that those who go braless at work are less likely to be promoted to high executive levels. – Daily Mail